The SME sector is still the golden child in Europe when it comes to distribution, according to the latest figures from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC).
Despite reporting combined revenue levels that are ‘significantly below’ comparable periods last year in the both the US and Europe, GTDC members, which represent more than $100bn (£61bn) in annual worldwide revenues and include Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and Avnet, admitted industry conditions have improved in some sectors.
In Europe, the SME market has shown stability and improvement in recent weeks, particularly when compared with the larger enterprise market, which is slower in recovery.
GTDC member sales are tracked via independent research firms: The NPD Group’s Distributor Track in the US and Context SalesWatch in Europe.
Both databases show third-quarter sales in 2009 improved, up by 10.7 per cent in the US and 2.3 per cent in Europe. This was the first time both regional tracking services have shown sequential quarterly improvement since the IT downturn deepened at the end of 2008.
Tim Curran, chief executive of the GTDC, said: “We can’t declare that we’re out of the woods yet. The tech industry will take time to crank back up to the levels it has achieved in previous years.
“We’re still very encouraged by the current positive sales trends in distribution, particularly in the SME space, and we have every reason to expect continued improvement on through 2010."
Technology areas driving industry recovery, according to GTDC members include mobile solutions, cloud computing, security, storage, PoS, wireless networking and other communications technologies.
Emerging companies are also now moving more of their products through distribution, the GTDC claimed.
“IT distributors have a front-lines perspective on market developments,” added Curran. “The NPD and Context databases that aggregate distributor sales also capture pricing information as well as other key indicators by channel. Such insight based on actual sales is far more reliable compared to market research surveys and esimates.”
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