Channel Leaders Unite: Vendors, Distributors Come Together At GTDC

GTDC Vendor Summit

The Global Technology Distribution Council recently held its 2010 Vendor Summit in Newport Beach, Calif., as more than 50 vendors and 11 distributors met to talk about channel trends in the IT industry. The GTDC also conducted an onsite survey to gauge how business is faring. Here's a look at some scenes from the show, with some results of the survey.

Booming Business?

In an audience response poll, 58 percent of channel execs said they anticipate double-digit sales increases through distributors over the next 12 months. In another question, nearly half (46 percent) of the vendor channel leaders on hand revealed they have limited or no view of their internal costs by channel. Pictured here, distributor and vendor channel executives get a chance to network.

Channel Panel

Tech Data's senior vice president of U.S. marketing, Joe Quaglia (center), fields a question during a breakout session focused on vendor pain points and emerging opportunities. He is flanked by Peter Larocque, president of distribution at Synnex (left), and Andy Bryant, president of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions.

Vendor channel executives were asked to identify their biggest pain point and the top results were: Getting headquarters to increase distributor/channel support (37 percent); growing in the current market environment (27 percent); and limited resources/big quota (25 percent).

McAfee Is Mum

Dave DeWalt, McAfee's president and CEO, wouldn't discuss much about his company's pending acquisition by Intel, but he gave his perspective on how the security market is evolving and credited the channel for a major role in McAfee's growth.

Succession Planning

Westcon chairman Tom Dolan ended his tenure as the GTDC’s chairman at this year’s Summit event. His successor is Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky. Meanwhile, another GTDC question to the vendors found that 43 percent of respondents are growing their channel business and reducing their direct sales while 24 percent said indirect and direct are growing at similar rates.

Fast-Growing Vendors

Amazon Consulting's Beth Vanni, (standing), hosted a panel of executives from vendors who received Rising Star awards from the GTDC. In an audience response poll, 80 percent of vendor attendees cited ’sales team engagement/relationship’ or ’marketing services support’ as most critical in their distributor partnerships.

Rising Star: Sony

Sony senior vice president Mike Abary, (second from left), accepted the top Rising Star Award for being the fastest-growing company with more than $500 million in annual U.S. sales through distribution. Also pictured, (from the left), are Tim Curran, GTDC CEO; Greg Spierkel, Ingram Micro CEO; and Tom Dolan, Westcon chairman.

Lenovo and Apple captured the silver and bronze awards in the category.

Rising Star: Hitachi

Hitachi captured the GTDC's Rising Star award for U.S. sales between $100 million and $500 million. Jerry Kagele, Hitachi’s vice president of worldwide distribution and Americas sales, accepted the Gold award from Curran, Spierkel and Dolan.

F5 and Samsung took home the silver and bronze honors.

Rising Star: Riverbed Technology

Riverbed Technology captured the GTDC's Rising Star award for U.S. sales between $20 million and $100 million. Riverbed's senior director of global distribution Tim Mackie accepted the Gold award from Curran, Spierkel and Dolan.

Dell and Brocade took home the silver and bronze honors.

Rising Star: VMware

VMWare’s senior director of Global Partner Strategy and Operations Doug Smith, (second from left), accepted the gold for the fastest-growing software vendor in the U.S., measured by sales through IT distributors.

The silver and bronze awards were presented to Red Hat and McAfee.