What are your plans for 2013?
We are in growth mode and are definitely feeling very confident about 2013. We plan to add a number of new heads and are looking to expand our graduate recruitment scheme and use apprenticeship programmes. It is important to get the next generation of workers on board.
We are well established in our new offices (pictured, below right) now and are planning to add to our headcount by looking at about 20 per cent staff growth this year.
What shape do you think the IT industry and the channel are in at the moment?
I feel that the IT industry is buoyant - order volumes are up and pipelines are looking really strong. I really do think people are spending. Channel firms that have a strong offering will prosper and those that do not will just play around the edges and possibly disappear.
For Bechtle, we have a strong pipeline both in public and private sector customers. There is confidence on both sides from what we are seeing.
It might be that the nature of the spend is shifting away from PCs and into other areas, but regardless of this, we are still seeing customers that are doing big hardware refreshes.
I think that is the advantage of being in the IT industry: companies will always need to upgrade their IT systems eventually and keep on top of their technology.
How do you think the UK economy will pan out this year?
There is real confidence in a lot of areas. We have many customers that have big projects in the pipeline. If you look at the way some people grow in our industry, we do not allow our salespeople to say it's quiet, even if it is. It is never quiet.
I think the wider economy will be similar to last year. The strong will prosper and next year I think things will start to pick up again.
The FTSE 100 is at the highest point since 2009 and last year saw a lot of launches such as Windows 8, HP's new server range and several new products from IBM.
Which technology do you think will sell well in 2013?
There is a huge growth in data, so storage is going to be a big factor for us this year. Disaster recovery (DR) is also a hot topic - we are certainly hearing demand for DR from our customers and we intend to capitalise on that.
The BYOD craze will also mean higher demand for tablets and that market will continue to cannibalise notebook growth. Some of the hybrid tablets that are coming onto the market -- such as those from HP and Lenovo - are very interesting and will definitely catch on in the business space. Samsung is also very strong in that area.
The number of vendors playing in this space has certainly opened up the field, and many customers are re-evaluating which vendor to go with. It should be an interesting time.
We have also recently become an authorised Apple partner - it is a big market and there is still a lot of demand for Apple products - so we are very confident about the growth in that space too. The future is definitely looking very positive for Bechtle UK.
Bechtle UK is a division of parent company Bechtle AG - one of the largest resellers in Europe. The Group, which was founded in 1983, offers 44,000 IT hardware and software products to businesses and public sector firms in 14 European countries through a combination of its website and local sales offices.
Aside from the UK and its Germany headquarters, the firm has offices in Switzer¬land, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Hungary and Ireland. It employs more than 5,500 people.
The Group boasts turnover of more than €2bn (£1.7bn).
Contingency plans follow Carillion's demise earlier this year
Oliver Tuszik says partners can boost subscription sales by taking a customer experience-led approach
Firm says enterprise business has performed 'weaker than originally expected'
Top executives from nine VARs, including Computacenter, Bell Integration, XMA, ANS and Epaton, weigh in on which server, storage and networking technologies will be red hot next year