The combination of Tech Data's Azlan and Avnet's Technology Solutions (TS) arm has created a £1.5bn UK VAD, according to the combined business' UK managing director Rob Tomlin.
Tech Data completed its $2.6bn acquisition of the TS business last month and announced that in Europe the business would be integrated into the Azlan datacentre subsidiary of Tech Data.
Rob Tomlin, previously UK managing director for Azlan, has been handed the reins of the newly formed VAD's UK operation and told CRN that his business has doubled in size, making it 50 per cent bigger than its nearest competitor.
"The businesses are a very similar size; we're just shy of a £1.5bn VAD, so it really is a huge business," he said. "We're 50 per cent larger than the next value distributor in the UK.
"We double in people, we double in revenue pretty much, and our goal is to take the one plus one and make sure it gives our partners, our vendors and our people a real benefit.
"Right now we're working on a model of 'business as usual'. We're keeping the two companies separate in how we service the market, how we service the vendors and customers, but we're working to bring that together as soon as we can in a very sensible and structured manner."
The two business will be integrated over the next 12 months, with the new business set to be known as Azlan TS.
Tomlin said there are no plans to make any changes to the office locations of either Tech Data or TS but said that the London offices will be brought together, having previously been 50 yards apart.
There are likewise no plans to cut staff, with the combined headcount now at over 500.
Tomlin explained that a contingent of the world's largest vendors will have worked with both Azlan and TS previously, but will benefit from now having to go through only one distributor.
He also highlighted some key vendor additions to Azlan's portfolio with which it didn't previously work, with a particular emphasis on security.
"The nice thing about it is we obviously have a very complete line card," he said. "We've built the business on some core vendors on both sides.
"We have very deep relationships on both sides with the likes of IBM, HPE, Cisco, Lenovo, EMC - it's a who's who of IT vendors.
"There are also some vendors that Azlan didn't carry; the likes of Oracle, NetApp, Juniper, F5 Networks, Check Point, Hitachi Data Systems - I'm conscious I don't want to leave anyone out - but there are a number of key relationships."
Cloud and IoT
While the focus on core vendors will remain, Tomlin said to expect more of an emphasis on emerging areas such as cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and next-generation technologies.
He also highlighted that Azlan TS will be the only UK distributor to carry the four "mega" cloud vendors: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM Soft layer and Oracle.
"Because of the size and scale that the organisation is going to be, we'll have a very strategic focus on our core vendor partners but we're also going to retain the investment that we've made around our solutions business practices, especially things such as analytics and IoT where Avnet has led the way," he said.
"Our competitors will see exactly the same challenges; you run your business on the vendors you've got but you always aspire to grow and do new things.
"We were both, in pockets, doing a really good job at doing new things but the reality is that the size and scale of our organisation now enables us to go and have dedicated teams in the new areas where we would have made investments, but neither party was really able to make the full investment you'd need to make the difference.
"It's our job to look after the big vendors and do the big deals, but also do the new things for both the big vendors and the new small vendors."
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