NPD Group Presents Winners Of 2019 B2B Channel Performance Awards

The second-annual awards presented by The NPD Group at XChange 2019 celebrate 12 winners across categories such as cloud, cybersecurity and mobility in the U.S. B2B indirect markets.

The time for silos is over. All IT markets, including cloud, storage, collaboration and security, have become more tightly-integrated than ever before and are growing together, hand-in-hand, according to market research and business solutions firm NPD Group.

For partners, that means it's all about the solution sale, said Michael Diamond, director of industry analysis of B2B technology for the firm.

The NPD Group took to XChange 2019, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company in Denver, to recognize the 12 vendors that either achieved the top revenue increase or the top revenue market-share change in the U.S. in its second-annual B2B Channel Performance Awards on Tuesday.

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Digital transformation is no doubt causing widespread growth across many IT segments, but some markets in particular are experiencing double-digit revenue hikes. That's because as businesses invest in popular areas such as cloud and pro A/V, other IT segments, such as storage and security, necessarily come into play.

"A lot of resellers, even those at a basic stage, will drop in services such as Microsoft Dynamics or Office 365, so we see cloud growing like crazy," Diamond said. But while cloud might be a beachhead for getting into a customer account, other adjacent services, such as security and storage, are required.

"If you're trying to sell a big data strategy, then you need to sell security. Big data also needs all-flash arrays to make everything move faster, so a lot of these technologies are going hand-in-hand," Diamond said. "For resellers, it's all about entangle themselves within an organization's infrastructure and getting sticky."

Strength in the economy and more hiring has also prompted some of the impressive revenue growth that is being seen across several IT markets, Diamond said.

"Where we see job growth, you're typically going to see growth across the segments -- its driving IT spending," he said.

The award winners were selected based on U.S. B2B technology revenue and market-share data for the 12 months ending in May 2019, as reported by NPD's B2B Distributor Track and Reseller Tracking service. NPD said that for award consideration, vendors are required to have sold corresponding products through the indirect B2B channel for a minimum of one year and through two or more channel partners.


Not surprisingly, cloud has been one of the major areas of growth in the IT space for the past several years, but the category's high year-over-year growth -- 27 percent -- surprised Diamond.

Tech giant Cisco this year took the top spot in year-over-year revenue growth in the cloud market in the U.S., beating out IBM in the same category last year. Microsoft won first place year-over-year for top U.S. market-share point change.

Pro Audio / Visual (A/V)

Another hot space in the IT world this year is the pro A/V category, which has the digital transformation trend to thank, Diamond said. More businesses are looking to upgrade their end customers' experience by way of digital signage products and monitors.

Samsung was the year-over-year revenue growth winner in the U.S., and Dell secured first place for year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change.

All-flash Array

Within the storage market, revenues around all-flash arrays are growing very significantly, especially as more organizations develop their business intelligence strategies and more big data-related use cases are adopted, Diamond said.

Dell EMC took the top honors in year-over-year revenue growth in the U.S. this year, while IBM came in first in year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change in the all-flash array market.


The cybersecurity market is seeing "very solid" double-digit growth year-over-year and partners, especially those offering managed security services, are scoring more and more sales, Diamond said. "Many small businesses aren't protected and are being hacked," he said. "We're seeing growth for products like next-generation firewalls and threat intelligence."

This year, Palo Alto Networks took first place in year-over-year revenue growth in the U.S., beating out F5 Networks in the same category last year. Palo Alto also claimed victory in the year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change over Symantec, who came in first place in the category last year.


The mobility segment saw a pop in sales this year thanks in part to notebooks and chromebooks, Diamond said. "We're really in an upgrade cycle, so I think the main question is, how long will the upgrade cycle last? But right now, it's growing quickly right along," he said.

HP Inc. saw the most year-over-year revenue growth in the U.S. in the mobility segment, while Apple took gold in year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change in the market.

Content and collaboration software

Content and collaboration revenues climbed up 13 percent year-over-year, Diamond said. Job growth also means companies potentially have to buy more seats for more users.

This year, Microsoft took the top spot for year-over-year revenue growth in the U.S. in the content and collaboration space. Autodesk came in first place for year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change.

Best Of The Channel

Best of the Channel looks at all the 250-plus categories evaluated by the NPD Group in terms of total annual revenue done through the channel, so it comes as no surprise that two IT heavyweights cliched the two top spots in terms of revenue this year, the first year that NPD included a Best of the Channel as a category.

HP Inc. was the big winner in year-over-year revenue growth in the U.S., while Dell also nabbed the top spot in year-over-year top U.S. market-share point change.