Ignition Technology Reveals European Expansion in 2023

The company's chief strategy officer details the EMEA push, says online marketplaces can’t replace distributor value.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

January 5, 2023

2 Min Read
European analysis_planning

Distributor Ignition Technology has revealed a push into EMEA in 2023.

Ignition, which focuses on early-stage disruptive security-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors, was acquired by Exclusive Technologies in 2021. That investment is now fuelling its further growth in Europe.


Ignition’s Sean Remnant

Since the acquisition, the distributor has expanded its U.K., Nordics and Benelux operations to France and the Middle East. It is now eyeing a move into DACH [Germany, Austria and Switzerland] in Spring 2023, said its chief strategy officer, Sean Remnant. “Then expansion into the rest of EMEA.”

Ignition remains a separate go-to-market strategy within Exclusive. “We have we have a separate P&L, separate management team, separate go-to-market, but we can leverage our big brother where it makes sense. So we we’ve got access to Exclusive’s 21,000 partners. We’ve got access to their M&A team and also the funds to allow us to grow as well,” said Remnant.

“They genuinely want to leave us alone and us thrive. It’s not acquire, swallow and move on.”

Less Margin in Online Marketplaces

Remnant said Ignition is based on a value-based margin model. This is where distribution differs from online B2B marketplaces, he said.

“The marketplaces are currently convenient. We’ve seen some impact where an enterprise customer has signed up to large commits. They’ve got budget at the end of the year, and then they’re saying, ‘well, actually, I can steer that budget towards this solution that I want to buy.’ And that’s where we see most of the marketplace activity.”

However, he said with the economic downturn, enterprise customers are becoming shrewder in terms of the size of their commitments.

“To the uneducated, the marketplace is all about listing products and people being able to click and buy. That’s really not where we’re seeing enterprises going at the moment. We’re seeing them using the marketplaces as a quoting transactional tool where they can use existing budget spending in other areas.

“Where is it going? That probably comes back to value. I don’t think the partners realize there’s less margin to be had if they go through [a] marketplace. The marketplaces are not as easy to manage as you might think.

“The marketplace doesn’t manage partner programs. The marketplace doesn’t do partner enablement. The marketplace doesn’t do pre-sales. There’s a ton of stuff that channel and distribution provide that marketplace doesn’t. It will facilitate the transaction, but it doesn’t add that extra value and that’s ultimately where everyone can keep their margin. But people are still learning on how to embrace it.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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