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Joe Panettieri

September 18, 2006

1 Min Read
CDW Reinvents Itself

During a consulting call on Friday, somebody asked The VAR Guy the following question: “What is CDW? A distributor? An online reseller? Something else?”

The VAR Guy thought to himself for a moment and then uttered the words “solutions provider.” Sure, CDW has been growing fast as an online reseller. The company’s year-over-year revenue grew 7.5 percent in August to $620.2 million. Nice … but we all know about slim IT product margins.

That’s why CDW is striving to recast itself as a solution provider that offers IT products, consulting and integration services. At least that’s what CDW insiders have been telling The VAR Guy for more than a year. Now CDW is finally going public with the strategy, acquiring Berbee Information Networks (a well-known Microsoft solution provider) for about $175 million.

Bringing Berbee into the CDW family should prove interesting. CDW’s culture is similar to a fast moving, hyper-competitive retail giant that pursues as many inventory turns as possible. IT consulting engagements involve longer, more complex sales cycles. The VAR Guy will be watching this marriage closely.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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