Top 40 UK IT distributors you need to know: Part One

Doug Woodburn
clock • 31 min read

The UK's top 40 IT distributors generated nearly £13bn revenues in their latest years, CRN research has found. Here we count down those ranked 40th to 26th...

"We are on target to grow 30 per cent"

32. Kite Distribution

Revenue: £24.3m (+23%)

Specialism: Cybersecurity

Vendors: Agari, Bitdefender, Corero, Cryoserver, Entrust, Extrahop, Infoblox, Keysight, Redseal, Thales, Zivver

Headcount: 18

HQ: Leicester

Upon its launch in 2014, Kite co-founder Mark Hatton told CRN he would view it as a "complete failure" if the security VAD was not seen as a major player within three years. He was one of three former bosses of Sphinx - which was acquired by Arrow in 2010 - to found the Leicester outfit.

Today Kite outfit works with 11 cybersecurity and networking vendors including Infoblox and Extrahop, with revenues in its year to 31 December 2020 powering up by nearly a quarter to £24.3m.

Quickfire Q&A with MD Dave Marshall

What specialism is your firm known for, and what sets you apart from your peers?

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We specialise in security, especially working with more complex security technologies due to our vast wealth of experience in the channel, including the grey hairs to prove it and helping our partners and vendors connect with their target end users.

Have you made any significant vendor signings in the last 12 months?

Agari, Corero and Zivver

What's the biggest misconception about distribution? 

The biggest misconception about distribution is that we just shift tin and licenses. Speak to any of our partners and vendors and they will vouch for the vale add that we offer to them.

How would you summarise the health of the distribution sector in 2021? 

In the value-add space, we are only seeing opportunities to grow both with our partners and vendors and with new threats emerging all the time and with the new way of working, I only see this improving.

What's been your biggest disappointment of the last year? 

I had a three-week holiday booked for the family to visit China and Australia which was a reward for supporting me for the last seven years…..now delayed indefinitely!!

Do you expect to grow in 2021?

We do. We are on target grow at least 30 per cent in 2021.

At first glance, the rise of cloud must be pretty devastating for distributors if there is no physical product to ship. How have you adapted? 

The role of a VAD is to connect partners to vendors and this hasn't changed. The value-add services that we offer continue to be relevant as trends change from hardware to virtual and from perpetual to subscription.

Tell us one thing most people won't know about your company? 

At the end of 2014 we employed nine people. Those same nine people all still work for Kite today.        

Which security VAD has set its sights on international growth after bagging PE investment? Find out on next page...

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