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Vendors: New D&H Headquarters Is Destined To Drive Partner Growth

“The thing that has always separated D&H from other distributors is their people,” said Intel Director of US Distribution Sales David Allen. “Now what you see as their people move into this new location is that they are just ecstatic. They are over the moon in terms of their new work location. They look at it and know they are big league right now. They are ready to take on the world.”

Intel Director of US Distribution Sales David Allen, who has been working to drive partner sales growth with D&H Distributing for 21 years, said the distributor’s modern new 50-acre campus on Tech Drive–like all things D&H—comes back to its people.

“The thing that has always separated D&H from other distributors is their people,” said Allen, who considers the Schwab family and the D&H team he works with friends more than business associates. “Now what you see as their people move into this new location is that they are just ecstatic. They are over the moon in terms of their new work location. They look at it and know they are big league right now. They are ready to take on the world. They are looking at this new campus with big open office buildings, green spaces, an amazing webcast TV studio, training space, solution labs. This just opens the door to new possibilities for D&H. I view this as a great stepping stone for D&H to take that next step from where they are today.”

Allen said he sees the charged-up stride in D&H co-owners on the new campus. “They are thrilled,” he said. “The facilities now enable them to do more with their solutions labs, multimedia studios and all the capabilities they now have. It’s about the room for growth. That is what we are excited about. This campus is going to allow them to grow 2X in terms of people. That is exciting.”

Allen was one of 300 vendors that helped D&H celebrate in grand style the opening of the new campus headquarters at D&H Fest. The daylong long celebration started with a presentation from 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, moved on to a tour of the new facilities along with scotch and tequila tastings, and a gala that featured dining and dancing into the evening.

Mary Davis, senior director of North America channel operations and programs at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who has been a top executive sponsor for D&H for the last five years, said she was “super excited” to celebrate the move to the new headquarters and see firsthand the invigorating effect it is having on D&H co-owners.

“The old facility spoke to their history and roots,” she said. “The new one shows the way they are moving forward. You can see the renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm among their employees. The new headquarters has the feel of a growing modern company.”

Davis, in fact, sees a unique parallel between D&H and HPE, which earlier this year also moved into its own state-of-the-art technology-infused modern campus in San Jose, Calif. “What is meaningful about HPE and D&H and our partnership is we are both companies with really rich histories who are continuing to grow, innovate and reinvent ourselves to stay relevant in the current IT market, which is changing so fast,” she said.

The historic Palo Alto, Calif., campus—where Bill Hewlett and David Packard built a Silicon Valley crown jewel—and the D&H original building in Harrisburg speak to the “deep roots in the early days of the technology” business, she said. The new campus headquarters for both companies are now a nod to the next generation, said Davis. “Both companies respect that long and rich history but are infusing a sense of modern facilities that bring a ton of energy and acknowledgement of how people want to work today,” she said. “Both companies are doing that really well. It really does enhance our partnership that we are both on a similar type of journey. It’s a special partnership from that perspective”

Davis said the HPE-D&H partnership is strong and growing with more opportunities on the horizon with the new D&H campus and HPE’s stepped-up charge into the SMB market. “What we see is the new facility will give us more opportunity to reach partners,” she said. “The new site facilitates partnering in new and different ways. I see only opportunity for growth between the two of us. D&H has unique reach into the SMB market.”

One of the key drivers in the tight partnership with D&H is the HPE ProLiant Gen10 Silicon Root of Trust security prowess, said Davis. “That security piece is so relevant for the SMB customer segment,” she said. “It can be particularly hard on smaller companies if they have a cyberattack. It is a really important piece of a solution for them. It really makes sense for HPE and D&H to make those kinds of solutions available to partners. It’s a really good partnership for us.”

Davis said she admires the rich 101-year-old D&H family and employee-owned legacy. “One of the things I am proudest of working for HPE is the history we have together,” she said. “I love that our companies share that long history. There is always a sense of fun and family with D&H.”

APC by Schneider Electric Senior Director of IT Distribution and Channel Strategy Gordon Lord, a 23-year channel veteran who has teamed with D&H for 11 years to drive the power protection behemoth’s partner growth, said he was excited to see the pure joy that D&H co-owners and team members feel with regard to the new campus.

“With D&H it is all about their people—their people and their customers,” said Lord. “Look at that campus. Talk about investment in their people. They have just given them a great place to go work—a great atmosphere and environment. It is epic Schwabs. The Schwabs have always been inviting personalities. Now they have the inviting space to go with it. When you go to the new facility, you can see that they are now able to represent what they are doing with partners around digital signage, solutions and marketing. You walk around that campus and you start thinking of different ideas about how you can leverage D&H. The old building didn’t do that for them.”

Lord said he is inspired by the combination of the new building with the strong “people-oriented” D&H culture. “D&H continues to invest in that culture,” he said. “When I walked into that facility my first thoughts were this is a place I want to work. It is epic. This is a place I would look forward to coming to work every day. They always had that with the people. Now they have it with the environment. Everything they have there is first class.”

Lord see the new facility as a “destination” for APC by Schneider Electric and its partners. “It’s a reason to come to Harrisburg – both physically and virtually with what they have done with all the technology at the new facility. Every partner should try to make the trip there. My advice to partners is go to Hershey Park and then do some business and see what D&H can do for you.”

Key to the D&H culture is the friendships that go hand in hand with working with the company, said Lord. “I look at Dan and Michael and forget sometimes they are co-presidents of a $4 billion distributor,” he said. “They are my friends first. They are friends I do business with. It’s a true partnership and a true friendship. Because of the culture at D&H I go there quite a bit, bring my family, do the Hershey Park trip and then do meetings with Dan and Michael and the team.”

Lord said he could not be happier for Dan and Michael and the D&H co-owners. “I am just happy for Dan and Michael,” he said. “They have worked so hard and invested in their people and partners. They are great guys and great leaders. Being there to celebrate this with them with a big party was just awesome.”

Lord sees only new roads ahead for the partnership with D&H in the new facility. “D&H has always been kind of known as the ‘S’ in SMB,” he said. “When you look at the changing landscape of IT with cloud, on-prem and hybrid, we see opportunities with D&H to do everything from verticals to compute outside the data center and cloud. There are so many different opportunities within D&H. Now they have the environment to execute that in. This takes them to the next level. It sets them up for the next big growth curve.”

Lenovo Channel Chief Rob Cato, a 25-year channel veteran who has worked closely with the distributor for a decade to drive Lenovo partner sales growth, said the D&H celebration was like a professional Bar Mitzvah celebrating the relationships that D&H has nurtured with so many people.

“It really is about the relationship,” said Cato. “It is beyond just the partnership. It is personal. …It’s a family. It’s a culture where every employee has a piece of the company. You can feel that pride when you talk with them about the things they have done and will continue to do. There is a special feeling in the way they embrace their employees and partners. It goes beyond a normal partnership. Dan and Michael have done a great job extending that from their Dad and their family.”

Cato said it was exicting to see the soaring spirits and smiles from ear to ear at the D&H celebration. “It had that family feel to it,” he said of the big event. “Everybody was embracing it. There was such a sense of pride for not only Dan and Michael and the Schwab family, but all of the employees who have put in so many years of hard work. To see that pay off in the new campus is great. The culture they have built is something special.”

Lenovo, which has taken advantage of branding opportunities in the new headquarters, is looking forward to taking advantage of the new avenues that the facilities open up. “The new facility is an extension of some of the things we want to go do with D&H,” he said. “It has really helped us in identifying new opportunities. They have got some new things they have added with the building that they certainly didn’t have in the past. I think we can take advantage of that to deliver a great joint message on what Lenovo and D&H can do for partners.”

The new D&H facility resonates with the Lenovo-D&H partnership on the new Lenovo ThinkBook brand, said Cato. “The ThinkBook is all about increasing productivity for the new millennial SMB user,” he said. “It’s a perfect tie-in with what D&H is doing with the new building and what they are doing to modernize the workplace. With the modern workspace taking hold right now, this product gives customer the flexiblity to take their work wherever they want to go. The partners that leverage D&H are absolutely the right ones for ThinkBook.”

Intel’s Allen, for his part, can’t help but feel proud at the D&H co-presidents’ accomplishments. “I am so proud of Michael and Dan and what they have done with the company,” he said. “They have more than doubled the business and maintained the core focus on the partner, the SMB market and doing things right by empowering people.”

Allen said that focus on people and building relationships remains the heart and soul of D&H. “At the end of the day in our industry, people buy from people they like,” he said. “D&H has always had that as part of their core DNA and approach to business. That hasn’t changed. Even though now they have moved to this big new campus, at the end of the day it is all about the people. That hasn’t changed. Now those people are in a much better environment.”’

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