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Tech Data Transforms, Streamlines Its Business With Eye On Improved Channel Services

Joe Quaglia, president of the Americas business of Tech Data, says at TechSelect 2019 that the distributor is in the midst of an internal project called EOS (Enhance, Optimize, Strengthen) that it expects will make its channel more efficient.

Tech Data is in the midst of a transformation aimed at making it a better partner to solution providers who depend on the company for their emerging technology and digital transformation activities.

That's the message from Joe Quaglia, president of the Americas business of Tech Data, who told attendees of this week's TechSelect 2019 conference in Orlando, Fla., that the distributor has moved past the integration of its 2017 acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions to focus on a companywide internal transformation he called "EOS."

EOS - which is Tech Data speak for Enhance, Optimize, and Strengthen - was launched last year after Tech Data went through a year-and-a-half integration period following the Avnet TS acquisition.

[Related: Tech Data Undergoing Digital Transformation, Urges Partners To Do So As Well]

While EOS is primarily an internal initiative, Quaglia said the initiative has an impact on how the distributor works with partners.

"We committed the largest single investment in the business than at any other time in Tech Data history," he said. "And we're doing that because transformation is really hard. It does cost money. But we believe that, as we come out of this transformation, we're going to be bigger, better, stronger, faster, and deliver a better quality of service to our partner community."

There are four pillars to Tech Data's EOS transformation.

The first pillar is to take complexity out of the supply chain and make it as easy as possible for solution providers to do business in an increasingly complicated IT channel, Quaglia said.

"We're taking every process that we can find, and we're turning them upside-down inside the company," he said. "And we're putting [in] all kinds of automation. In fact, we have 34 bots already completed and in-place automating workloads, whereas in the past we had a lot of manual keying and typing. We have already saved 42,000 hours of work, which doesn't just translate into productivity, but also translates into capacity, which allows us to do more as we get bigger and grow with you."

The second pillar is to optimize Tech Data's advanced solutions and next-generation practices, Quaglia said.

"Our object is to take a very complex set of solutions, all data center-related--hyper-converged, security, analytics, and IoT--and make it super simple and deliver a better customer experience not only for you, but for your end users," he said. "[We will also do] the right interfacing with the vendor community and their IT systems so that we can make [processes for] advanced solutions as streamlined and frictionless as possible."

The third pillar of EOS is what Quaglia called the "ultimate coverage model," which he said will cover all the various types of channel partners working with the distributor.

"[We want] to make sure that we can put in the right coverage model from the inside to the outside, from vendor support to BDMs (business development managers) to solution consultants to architects to engineers, and make sure that we have you covered based on the way that you need to be covered," he said. "We will have the ultimate coverage model, bar none, in all of distribution."

Actually, Quaglia said, that last goal has probably been met, but the company is not yet done optimizing.

"We're just going to get better at that," he said. "Because I still think this is a human business. And our ability to cover you with the right level of service is absolutely critical to us as we go forward.

The fourth pillar of EOS is what Tech Data calls internally the TDOS, or "Tech Data Operating System," a project which Quaglia said is still under development.

TDOS basically provides a single "front door" into Tech Data, he said.

"Today, you come through a lot of different doors at Tech Data," he said. "But if we can create an experience for you that allows you to build solutions--it doesn't matter if its hardware or software or services, subscription-based, recurring, or cloud--we're not going to discriminate across any of those different types of offerings. We going to allow you to put them together, and service you with a single pane of glass."

This includes better tighter integration with the vendor community, and allow solution providers work with the same systems that Tech Data's sales reps use, Quaglia said.

"We want to take that system and allow you to install it and use it inside your organization so that it works with your IT systems," he said. "So we're changing the way that we interface with you. We're going to super-charge it. We're going to give it a better, cleaner experience. And we're going to allow you to extend that value one step closer to your customers."

The first release of TDOS is slated to be available in February, Quaglia said.

Lincoln Christensen, president of Link Source IT, a Eugene, Ore.-based solution provider, told CRN he loves working with Quaglia, and that his EOS message indicates that Tech Data will be even easier to work with in the future.

"First and foremost, it's his speed and his ability to get things done in a timely manner," Klink said. "For my business, speed is what sets us apart. And if Tech Data's not fast, we're not fast.

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