Following Tech Data's closure of its Avnet Technology Solutions acquisition last week, CRN sister publication Channelnomics Europe quizzed newly appointed European president Patrick Zammit (pictured) on a wide range of topics, including the integration roadmap and where the deal has strengthened the distributor.
Bringing it all together
The Avnet TS buyout brings Tech Data's total workforce to more than 14,000 employees - roughly 7,500 of which are based in Europe, according to Zammit. He said that as a result, overlap between the two distribution giants will be greater in EMEA than in the US. Zammit said that he aims to have Tech Data's integration process complete in a year's time, with Germany and the UK - the largest markets of both Avnet TS and Tech Data - expected to take the longest. He claimed, however, that smaller European countries could be integrated within a few months.
"We are going to have a country-by-country approach. The Tech Data model is a country-by-country approach, and some [countries] will have more to combine than others," he said. "The overlap is of course going to impact the support functions of each business, but I do not think we will see big lay-offs at this stage."
Additionally, Zammit said that Avnet's offices across Europe will be combined with Tech Data's where possible, claiming that larger European cities such as London and Paris will likely see staff brought under one roof.
"Ideally, we would like to bring all employees into one space but that will work only in some cities [where] the head offices are extremely close to each other. But for some cities it will not be possible because we do not want to extend the time it takes for people to travel to the office," he said.
"In London or Paris if you look at the map it looks as if we can bring the two together but in the majority of cases we will not be able to do so. In some cases the teams are close to each other, in other cities it is too far... I don't want there to be any disruption for the employees."
Zammit confirmed that the Avnet name will disappear in the integration process, and Tech Data is currently evaluating its branding strategy with the addition of Avnet.
"The Avnet name is going to disappear in the future. There is a global study taking place as we speak on the branding strategy. There will be some changes, we do not know yet what will be the decision because we have to go through the process. We have some very memorable brands in EMEA like Azlan, Datech and Maverick; they are very powerful names," he said.
"We can continue to use Avnet for six months but for brand reasons we want to know where we are heading to sooner rather than later."
Channelnomics Europe spoke to Tech Data's CEO Bob Dutkowsky when the deal was first announced, and he was quick to stress to resellers on both sides of the merger that protecting credit lines was a priority. Zammit pledged that resellers will see their credit lines with Tech Data and Avnet merge together, and could even increase under the combined company.
"Tech Data very early in the process - the announcement came out in September and no later than one week later - made a very clear statement and a strong commitment that credit lines will be merged, so it is a one plus one equals two scenario," he said.
"There will be increases to the credit lines where needed. There are no changes to terms and conditions, no change to credit limits, it is business as usual, but as we win some new projects we will increase the credit lines accordingly."
He added: "We work case by case, partner by partner; this is really business as usual. We will review the needs of our partners and address the credit lines accordingly... we want to make sure they have enough credit."Click through to page two to find out about potential outsourcing, what Zammit thinks are the key relationships and geographies gained via the merger - and why he believes Tech Data has the advantage over Ingram
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