Leaders from worldwide technology and distribution companies gathered this week for the 13th annual GTDC Summit EMEA conference, hosted by the Global Technology Distribution Council. This year’s executive forum explored many of the IT industry’s top challenges and brightest prospects, with insight from respected economists, researchers, futurists, and other experts and authorities.
With the rapid advances in technologies and delivery models, vendors and solution providers are increasingly looking to IT distributors for guidance, support and resources for their clients. “Innovation is a key sales driver and rising value proposition for the channel as businesses struggle to keep pace with increases in labor costs, global competition, and regulatory compliance”, said Frank Vitagliano, CEO of the GTDC. “While organizations rely on IT solutions and technology providers to address those concerns and meet other critical objectives, distributors are a force behind the scenes. They deliver more technology options, services and support capabilities than ever before.”
Vitagliano highlighted the evolution of distributors from their core pick, pack and ship roles to even more comprehensive responsibilities as channel orchestrators. “All the investments in digital platforms, marketplaces, and emerging technology practices are coming into their own today, simplifying go-to-market strategies and expanding the reach for vendors and solution partners. Alliances with hyperscalers and expansion of sustainability-related offerings will further boost the value of distribution in the IT ecosystem.”
He shared details of the recently introduced GTDC Innovation Enablement Guide to illustrate some of the many ways channel partners can scale emerging technologies success. “Distributors are force-multipliers in the adoption process, providing vendors with the support, resources and visibility required to thrive in the channel.”
Additional Insight from the 2023 Event
The future of technology was a prevalent topic of discussion at Summit EMEA. Speakers and moderators highlighted key areas of opportunity for the IT industry and channel, from digital transformation and cybersecurity to environmental sustainability and artificial intelligence. The 2023 sessions included:
Frank Vitagliano, CEO, GTDC moderated a strategic investment panel with senior distribution executives: Alessandro Cattani, CEO of the Esprinet Group; Anton Herbst, Executive Advisor, Tarsus; and Patrick Zammit, President, EU and APAC of TD SYNNEX.
Futurist Gerd Leonhard shared his insight on emerging tech and how the world can harness its power for the greater good. With the ethical and legal concerns around AI and other cutting-edge solutions, persevering in an age of renewable and machine technologies could be a challenge for everyone, including channel partners.
Dave O'Callaghan, Managing Partner of Vation Ventures, moderated a discussion on distribution investments and their effects on vendors and other channel partners today. Other contributors to that conversation included Gianluca Guasti, GM,Value Business & Marketing, Computer Gross; Clive Fitzharris, CEO of DCC Technology; and Klaus Schlichtherle, CEO of Infinigate.
Jan Willem Velthuijsen, Chief Economist at PWC examined the current financial environment in EMEA and explored the factors that could positively and negatively impact the IT industry.