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

Doug Woodburn
clock • 38 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 25th to 11th...

"It's a competitive sector, with lots of new entrants"

21. Vuzion/Cobweb

Revenues: £44m (+33%)

Headcount: 100 (across Vuzion and Cobweb)

Specialism: SaaS

Key vendors: Microsoft, Mimecast, Acronis, DocuSign, Global Relay, AvePoint, Exclaimer

HQ: Hampshire, Fareham

Managed cloud outfit Cobweb launched distribution arm Vuzion in 2016 after securing indirect CSP status with Microsoft.

CRN understands that Vuzion now generates in the region of 80 per cent of Cobweb's total revenues, which rocketed by a third to £40m in its year to 30 April 2021 (according to numbers it shared with us). Billing itself as a cloud aggregator, Vuzion's vendor allies include Microsoft, Acronis and Mimecast.

Quickfire Q&A with Vuzion MD Michael Frisby:

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

We're a born-in-the-cloud distributor with a deep technical heritage. When Vuzion first launched we leveraged our 20-plus years of running cloud services to focus on helping resellers build out solutions on Microsoft Azure. We continue to focus on Azure alongside Microsoft 365, and in particular Teams with Voice.

Which emerging vendors are you betting big on this year?

signNow - newish entrant in to the eSignature market that is focused on the SMB segment.

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

We've focused on Microsoft Teams and Business Voice in the last 12 months and have launched partnerships with Wavenet and Gamma - we are seeing an acceleration of voice attach to Microsoft 365.

What's the biggest misconception about distribution?

That it's just about transactional relationships. Cloud distribution requires a much deeper partnership between distributor and reseller, enabling operational efficiency for resellers as they adapt to a monthly recurring revenue model.

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

I would say that it is a very competitive sector, with a lot of M&A activity and new entrants coming in to the UK - eg Pax8.

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

Losing both my parents

Do you expect to grow in 2021?

Absolutely - we're targeting 35 per cent-plus YoY growth for Vuzion.

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?

We were born in the cloud and so for us the transition from physical on-premise infrastructure to the cloud is all upside.

How do you see the role of distribution changing in the 2020s? 

To drive operational efficiency we expect to see ever closer integration and automation between the resellers systems (PSA, CRM etc.) and our service delivery platform.

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

Our rolling 30-day NPS score is currently 83 (from Reviews.co.uk) and 95 per cent of our partners would recommend us.

Which Devon-based distie was recently snapped up by a US firm? Find out on the next page...

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