Key Takeaways from the GTDC U.S. Vendor Summit 2014
This blog contributed by Jeff Bawol, president, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas was originally featured in Avnet Insights.
After more than 35 years in the technology industry, the annual Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) U.S. Vendor Summit continues to be an event I look forward to attending. It provides industry leaders the opportunity to come together to discuss relevant IT issues and trends, and share ideas and best practices for bringing innovative technologies to market while accelerating growth for customers and suppliers.
Two topics were particularly top of mind at this year's event: market conditions and cloud computing.
Overall, the outlook on market conditions seemed to be "cautiously optimistic." Speakers reported research findings that point toward continued steady growth for the near future. According to GTDC CEO Tim Curran, the U.S. technology market has been trending steadily upward since 2012 and is showing particular strength among smaller solution providers, who generated 49 percent of the hardware revenue in the channel in 2013.
There was much discussion around the role distribution plays, and will continue to play, in cloud computing. IDC Analyst Darren Bibby recognized that there's a lot more to distribution than just moving product around. Logistical expertise is relevant in the cloud to aggregate order management and billing. However, distributors' strength in credit and financing services can be directed toward needs like integration and configuration in cloud computing models, rather than toward equipment purchases. Channel partners are turning to distributors for services such as technical support for their cloud solutions, aggregation of cloud services, and data center accessibility and hosting. One of the areas where distributors will be most involved in cloud computing is for the small-to-mid-sized (SMB) market. "Indirect channels of distribution remain the most efficient method of reaching the small and mid-sized business market," Bibby noted. "This has always been the sweet spot for distribution, and it will not change with the cloud."
The pace of change in the technology industry has accelerated tremendously in the past few years and this momentum is expected to continue. It's an exciting time to be in the channel. There are more ways than ever before to transform technology into business solutions that positively impact the way we live, work and play. With advances in big data, converged infrastructure, cloud computing and security and networking solutions, opportunities abound for Avnet, our customers and suppliers, and technology users across the globe.