GTDC: Distributor CEOs Talk IT Future, Honor Rising Vendor Stars

GTDC Vendor Summit

Distribution's biggest and brightest gathered recently in Newport Beach, Calif., for the Global Technology Distribution Council's annual Vendor Summit conference. The event marks one of the few times of the year that IT distributors' CEOs and leading vendor channel chiefs come together to discuss the future of the channel. Here's a look at what transpired.

Distribution Dudes

Tim Curran, CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council (left) and Bob Stegner, senior vice president of North America marketing at Synnex, smile for the camera during the opening reception at the Fairmont Newport Beach.

Tech Talk

Bob Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data (center), gets some good networking time with Lenovo's Chris Frey (left) and Jess Trotter.

Best Frenemies

The GTDC Vendor Summit is the rare event that draws in all the CEOs of top distributors, including companies that compete against each other directly. Pictured here, Arrow Electronics CEO Mike Long (left) and Avnet CEO Rick Hamada (center) have a drink together. At right is Arrow's Andy Bryant, who has the unique experience of having worked for both men at both companies.

Research Team

NPD Group, the research team behind CRN's Best Sellers data, was out in full effect. From left are NPD's Stephen Baker, Dennis Brown, Ian Hamilton and Jana Munford.

Klayko's Korner

Michael Klayko, Brocade CEO, offered his view of the future of mobility and networking. He told the crowd that more people in the world own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush. "People pulling ox-drawn carts are on smartphones. That's not going to change," Klayko said.


A VAR's View

The GTDC Vendor Summit is typically the stage for distribution and vendor executives to offer their views on the market. This year, Thomas Richards, CEO of CDW, took to the stage to share how he is changing the Vernon Hills, Ill.-based direct marketer since taking over last Oct. 1.

CEO Panel

GTDC CEO Tim Curran, left, hosted a panel that included the CEOs of five of the largest distributors on the planet, pictured from left to right: Avnet's Rick Hamada, Arrow Electronics' Mike Long, Tech Data's Bob Dutkowsky, Ingram Micro's Alain Monie and Synnex's Kevin Murai. Unfortunately, all five men said they don't see the global economy enjoying a sustained recovery any time soon.

Analysts' View

To paraphrase an old saying, if you ask five IT analysts a question on future IT spending, you're going to get six different answers. That wasn't quite true at the GTDC Vendor Summit, but each of the five panelists in a session called "Maximizing Growth in an Uncertain World" brought their take on where the channel is headed.

Pictured from left: NPD Group's Steven Baker, Gartner's Tiffani Bova, Context's Jeremy Davies, UBM Channel CEO Robert Faletra and PartnerPath's Beth Vanni.

Rising Star Bronze Winner: Red Hat

The GTDC gave out several awards at the Vendor Summit in the following categories: software publishers with more than $20 million in sales through distributors; hardware manufacturers with between $25 million and $100 million in annual sales through distributors; hardware manufacturers with sales between $100 million and $500 million in distributor sales; and hardware vendors with more than $500 million in distributor sales.

Red Hat won the bronze award for software. Mark Enzweiler, vice president of global channels (center), accepted the honor from Avnet CEO and GTDC chairman Rick Hamada (left) and Tim Curran, CEO of GTDC.

Rising Star Silver Winner: CommVault

CommVault's Peter Kobs, vice president of Americas, and Scott Skidmore, vice president of channel sales, accept the Silver Software award from Hamada and Curran. CommVault has enjoyed eight straight quarters of double-digit sales growth through distributors, said Curran, at right.

Rising Star Gold Winner: Websense

Websense won the Gold Rising Star award in software. Accepting the award were, second from left, John Giacomini, vice president of regional sales, and Frank Solano, senior channel account manager, second from right. "Devious theft, malicious mischief, alarming threats. This isn't the plot of a Hollywood action movie. This gold winner protects from menacing mayhem," said the GTDC's Curran, at left.

Rising Star Bronze Winner: Axis Communications

Vince Ricco, business development manager for Axis Communications' Technology Partner Program (center), accepts the Rising Star Bronze award for hardware between $25 and $100 million in channel sales. "They have steered the way for networked video and video surveillance. Indirect is critical to this company's success in 179 countries," Curran said.


Rising Star Silver Winner: Aruba Networks

Aruba Networks captured the Silver Rising Star for hardware sales between $25 million and $100 million. Accepting the award was Julia McConaughy, director channel operations, center. "With next-gen network access, this company makes it possible to have a seamless environment for wired and wireless networks," said the GTDC's Curran, left.

Rising Star Gold Winner: Elo Touch Solutions

Doug Means, CEO of Elo Touch Solutions, accepts the Rising Star Gold award for highest distribution sales growth for hardware vendors between $25 million and $100 million.

Rising Star Bronze Winner: Brocade

Brocade captured the Bronze Rising Star award for hardware sales between $100 million and $500 million. Accepting the award from Hamada, left, and Curran, right, are Laurie Potratz, senior director of Americas channel sales, Eric Buck, director of distribution sales, and Regan McGrath, vice president of global channel sales and marketing.

Rising Star Silver Winner: Wyse

Wyse won the Silver Rising Star award for hardware between $100 million and $500 million. Jonas Brown, vice president of Americas distribution and reseller channels (center) accepted the award from Hamada and Curran.

Rising Star Gold Winner: Dell

In effect, Dell captured the silver and gold awards since it also acquired Wyse Technology. Geoff Brown, sales director for DMR/global commercial channels, accepted the gold award from Hamada and Curran.

Rising Star Bronze Winner: Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems won the Bronze Rising Star award in the hardware $500 million-plus sales. Scott Brown, vice president of worldwide distribution (center, holding award), and his team accepted the award from the GTDC.

Rising Star Silver Winner: Apple

Apple won the Silver Rising star award for $500M-plus hardware vendors, but in accordance with its corporate policy, did not accept the award at the conference.

Rising Star Gold Winner: EMC

EMC is a big channel company, but still a fast-growing one in terms of sales through distribution. The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company earned the gold award for large hardware vendors. Leonard Iventosch, vice president of Americas Channels, accepted the award from the GTDC.