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Tech Data CEO Rich Hume: IT Channel Is ‘Enabling The World’ To Work From Home

“The community becomes very small and tight when crisis emerges. We turn to one another with any challenges and issues and hope to resolve them. I would encourage any part of the ecosystem to reach out. If Tech Data can assist in any way, we’re happy to help,” Tech Data CEO Rich Hume told CRN.

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As much as the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare gaps in our nation’s health care system, it has also highlighted resilience and nimbleness of the channel as it martials partners across the IT industry to help shift the country’s work from the office, to the home. Distribution is taking center stage in this fight, as MSPs and VARs scramble to keep companies connected to their customers, even as employees are increasingly home bound.

“If we didn’t have the ability to have our logistic centers enabled, the entire distribution network, not just Tech Data, wouldn’t be meeting that need and I think it would be harder for companies to shift their work to remote,” Tech Data CEO Rich Hume told CRN. “I think we’re playing a vital role right now.”

The $37 billion distribution juggernaut is unleashing its full might to keep employees healthy, to keep the boxes and trucks moving, and to put hardware into the hands of those who need it.

“We’ve taken multiple measures to help protect them,” Hume said. “Number one is we’re doing temperature screening. Number two is we’ve optimized our work schedule, whereby we have no overlap between shifts so they aren’t exposed to any more people than they need to be. We have all the hygiene and sanitary capabilities installed that are required. We are extremely safe about who is allowed in the facility and who is not. So taking all of those measures to make sure we protect those who are helping the world to be sustained in this new environment of remote work.”

Since joining Tech Data, Hume has overseen several major changes in the company, including Tech Data's 2017 $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions. That acquisition gave Tech Data, which at the time was a traditional broadline distributor, access to advanced technology from Avnet, one of the industry's largest value-added distributors. It also gave Tech Data a presence in the Asia-Pacific market.

Prior to joining Tech Data, Hume was a 30-plus-year company veteran at IBM where he held roles including general manager and COO of Global Technology Services and general manager of its Europe business. Hume honed his channel chops as general manager of IBM's global business partners between 2008 and 2012, where he focused on channel initiatives for IBM's business partner channel.

 
 
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