Market growth is healthy, but the distributor wants more tech adoption by VARs and MSPs.

Lynn Haber

January 14, 2020

5 Min Read
Think Big

D&H Distributing’s VAR business grew double digits – 20% – in 2019, successful by all accounts for the hyperfocused SMB market distributor. Moving into 2020, D&H’s plan is to continue its steadfast strategic business commitments and help partners boost their confidence adopting new technologies.

Last year, all customer segments – small VARs, midsize VARs, MSPs, collaboration partners utilizing more services, the public sector (local, state and federal, K-12 education) – of the distributor’s business were up. D&H has every intention to make 2020 an equally profitable year for itself and partner customers.

D&H kicked off 2020 announcing, this week, that RingCentral is now a part of the company’s cloud solutions portfolio for UCaaS.

“We’ve been carefully cultivating partners who can offer the level of resources and support to make it easy for our customers to enter new segments, regardless of their previous level of expertise in telecom or the UC space,” said Jason Bystrak, vice president of D&H’s cloud business unit.


D&H Distributing’s Peter DiMarco

Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H, outlined the company’s 2020 strategy in an interview with Channel Futures.

Channel Futures: Before talking about 2020, what fueled D&H’s success in 2019?

Peter DiMarco: Our success in 2019 is a result of all the investments that we made in specific areas around solutions. One being investment in our cloud business, executing our state of the market cloud marketplace and cloud platform — that got a lot of traction because of its ease of use; [also], investing in our cloud team — we have 30-plus resources that are focused on cloud and MSP services; and then, onboarding a broad portfolio of cloud services.

We’ve also seen strong growth in collaboration and ProAV/digital signage technology that had a lot of strength in the enterprise and public sector, and now, what I consider some game-changing technology and solutions around collaboration, public rooms, and the disruption that we’re seeing in price points for the SMB. We’ve made investments in resources around presale design and engineering, and sales support, so customers are able to take those solutions out into the marketplace.

We also saw strong growth in the esports category, and also all of our core solutions areas, such as infrastructure, security, networking, devices and compute. Working with [technology] partners like HPE, helping with their build-to-order program, putting what I call velocity solutions together for the SMB partner, has helped as well.

CF: Any areas that didn’t do as well as you had hoped for in 2019?

PD: In areas such as collaboration we’d like to see a lot more transformation, and VARs and MSPs adopting this technology and being able to compete with the CDWs of the world. For us, it’s more about adoption than market growth.

Certainly, for cloud, VARs are putting together a full-blown MSP and cloud strategy; we saw faster adoption on that.

CF: Let’s talk about 2020.

PD: For 2020, it’s more of the same. In the SMB space you have to be able to take broader solution trends that are going on in the marketplace and distill them down to what an SMB and MSP can absorb. We tend to have multiyear strategies that help the partner adopt solutions and help the small customer leverage technology.

If I look at cloud and services, I think we’re going to have a big year in [anything as a service] XaaS. Regardless of the solution, whether it’s a Pro AV solution, networking, infrastructure, server, device, we’re able to take that hardware and …

… match it to a relevant application, a set of physical and virtual services and wrap that together in a single payment through a subscription offering for that end customer. Now we’re even able to absorb the MSP services into a single bill with or financing partner. Having that available on our cloud platform, we believe that will be a breakthrough for us and our partners will have a single place to go for both hardware, applications, and lifecycle services.

For esports, 2019 was a year of discovery for the mainstream. The early adopters, of which there aren’t many, have practices in place and have started developing strategies and selling motions. In 2020, it’s going to be a year with full out execution. We’ve aligned with third parties to put together a pre-built, configured solution and putting content on our website for partners to get educated, and sit with school districts, universities and offer a range of solutions.

I can’t emphasize how important collaboration is in the SMB space because many SMBs today are mobile, but they’re not leveraging technology the way enterprises are. But because of great solutions, such as Microsoft Teams, it allows SMBs pervasive connectivity — they can collaborate and share files, regardless of where they are. The price point of collaboration solutions has come down and many of our partners have stepped up and are building a practice around [collaboration]. It’s also a logical extension to a networking and UC practice.

CF: What else does D&H have in store for partners?

PD: We have a ton of education planned for our partners on our website or D&H live TV. Certainly, moving into our new building is going to help us with onsite training with partners and more video content and studio sessions for our partners. We also have a wealth of shows, events and boot camps, and workshops available to partners.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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