Tech Data's Digital Shift

Tech Data decided to break out its Digital Environments Specialized Business Unit (SBU) to give dedicated resources to each category, said Karl Werner, director of Tech Data&'s Advanced Technologies Group. Previously, sales and technical resources for the SBU were more broad, which didn&'t allow VARs to become experts in any one area, Werner said.

“We wanted premise security to be a big part of our business, but we were not managing those vendors correctly. Now we have a seamless go-to-market strategy,” Werner said.

At least one solution provider feels Tech Data needs to enhance its line card before its premise security business can grow significantly.

“Tech Data doesn&'t carry the products we work with. We&'ve approached them over the last couple of years and said, ‘Here&'s what we&'re buying, do you have this?&' The answer has always been no,” said Rick Rubenstein, president of RMS Business Systems, Buffalo, N.Y., a seven-year Tech Data networking equipment customer.

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Tech Data has already signed several security vendors after marketing the SBU separately.

“We were managing security [vendors] as networking vendors and not growing that business as fast as we knew it could,” Werner said. The Premise Security SBU will target IT solution providers selling security and control systems to commercial accounts, as opposed to analog security dealers selling to residential customers, Werner said.