At a time when picking the next big vendor is akin to entering the lottery, VAD Exclusive Group has developed an uncanny knack for buying the winning ticket.
In its security arm Exclusive Networks, the distributor brought the likes of Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet to the UK, while its datacentre distributor BigTec currently carries storage superstars Nutanix and Rubrik.
Exclusive Group recently recorded its best-ever half year after revenue jumped nearly 20 per cent to more than ￡650m. This growth was attributed to the "core vendors" that Exclusive has taken from being market entrants to dominant players.
Where other vendors have entered the UK market and fallen away, Exclusive has made many of its selections stick. Choosing the right vendors is obviously key, but Exclusive CEO Olivier Breittmayer attributed the distributor's track record to a unique makeup of employees.
"The big difference between Exclusive and the more generic distributor is the number of technical people we have on board," he said.
"Thirty per cent of the team are engineers or technical support and that's a big part. We have one sales guy for one technical guy and most of the time it's the technical guy who convinces the reseller to engage with new technology."
However, as these once-emerging vendors take a stronger position in the market, Exclusive, by default, becomes a distributor that works increasingly with the established players.
In a further push into the mainstream, Exclusive took an unprecedented step to distribute an incumbent vendor earlier this year by signing up Symantec in the UK. The addition of the security giant does not however represent a shift in strategy - with Exclusive focusing primarily on "three or four" new technologies that Symantec is bringing to market - making the deal not too dissimilar to Exclusive's other vendor relationships.
"Our model remains the same: to have a tailor-made approach for each vendor," Breittmayer said.
"For sure what we do with Symantec will be a bit different to what we do for a new technology, but we adapt everything we do for each vendor to make sure that we are aligning for the vendor.
"That's very important. We have to be aligned with the vendor and their strategy. We don't want to have one model, we have one model per vendor."
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