Tech Data Channel Link: Live Blog
Tech Data Channel Link in Orlando, Fla., has attracted VARs and IT service providers representing $1 billion in combined revenues over the past 12 months, up 10 percent from the year before. The VAR Guy (yours truly) just surfaced at the conference, which is bound to cover business development, cloud, mobility and IT consumerization issues. Stick around. This live blog offers minute-by-minute updates from the Tech Data (NASDAQ:TECD) conference.
Even before the conference started, The VAR Guy raised these five partner trends worth watching. So what's next? Here's the blow by blow.
Recap: Joe Quaglia, senior VP, U.S. marketing and president, Tech Data TDMobility
- Channel Link is now in its third year.
- The goal of the event: Improve your opportunity to drive a better business.
- More than 100 Tech Data associates are on site at the conference.
- Roughly 60 strategic vendors are on-site — everyone from Acer to Zagg.
- Attendees represent $1 billion in revenue and 10 percent growth over the past 12 months. Average tenure Solution Provider attendees is 13 years working with Tech Data.
- CompTIA representatives also are in the house, offering cloud education.
- Shout out to Dan Shapero, founder of ClikCloud and former SaaS/MSP executive at Kaseya. Shapero is helping IT service providers with digital marketing and online strategies.
Quaglia offered up the following "did you know?" list:
- AccessTD app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can purchase product on a smart phone or tablet. It includes a Channel Link schedule app.
- CX1 Brand: "We are getting extremely passionate at Tech Data about the importance of delighting our customers." Jackie Baron, director of TD Customer Care is leading the effort.
- "If we can earn your business and loyalty, I know it will be paid off in dividends for us."
- Three awards where customers returned that loyalty went to: ProSys — which grew the relationship 50 percent year over year; Sumisho Computer Systems — grew 60 percent with Tech Data over the past year; and Dasnet Corp. — which grew its Tech Data relationship several thousand percent.
- The TDCloud business apparently has about 3,000 engaged channel partners. The VAR Guy needs to double-check this figure but it sounds like Quaglia said TDCloud partners now have 2 million cloud seats under management. Again, stay tuned on this one. The VAR Guy needs to fact-check.
- Side note: TDCloud focuses mainly on a cloud-enablement playbook for VARs and MSPs rather than getting caught up in the cloud services brokerage market.
- Digital signage solutions combined with power, energy imaging and supplies you have the highest gross-margin category available for partners, he asserted.
- Quaglia claimed Tech Data is the largest VAD (value-added distributor) in the world.
- TDMobility: It had 80 partners at launch last year. Today, it's more than 600 partners. Tablets are high-commodity businesses. But if you sell and activation with it, you can potentially quadruple your margin, he said. Also coming soon: Galaxy Tablet from Verizon exclusively through Tech Data as a distributor.
- Quaglia has jumped into the BYOD discussion. You know the drill: Can the infrastructure demand it; are devices safe and secure; 75 percent of world's data being created on end-user devices like smart phones, tablets and ultrabooks.
- He's positioning a BYOD portal for VARs to offer to their customers.
Recap: Craig Schiefelbein, co-founder and COO of Paragon Development Systems
- A well-known VAR, Schiefelbein wants to remind channel partners to get back to basics. The big opportunity: Mentoring in your business.
- To succeed, leadership has to happen at every level.
- Remember: "The best you can be is not enough."
- Make sure you decipher between strategic vs tactical when working with your team and customers.
- Purpose: Find a purpose for your business. What need does it serve?
- Fewer than 20 percent of IT employees have read their company's strategic plan. "Pathetic," he said.
On Stage Soon: A partner panel, moderated by The VAR Guy
- How will our resident blogger moderate AND blog? Hmmm… Surely, he'll solve that riddle. Stay tuned.
Check back frequently for multiple live updates.