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...

"We have created our own beer"

19. Giacom

Revenues: £48.9m (+38%)

Headcount: 76

Specialism: Cloud software

Key vendors: Microsoft, Acronis, Bitdefender, Vade, Skykick

HQ: Hull, East Yorkshire

This cloud software distributor saw revenues vault by more than a third to £48.9m in its year to 31 July 2020 as it expanded the breadth of services it offers to resellers complement Microsoft's core offering.

In November, the channel-only outfit - which claims to reach 70,000 end-user SMEs through its network of partners - was acquired by Daisy spin off Digital Wholesale Solutions.

Quickfire Q&A with CEO Mike Wardell

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

Giacom exists to help the channel (our customers) be more efficient and effective. This has led us to develop our cloud platform with their requirements in mind and we continue to evolve this based on ongoing feedback and suggestions.

Which emerging vendors are you betting big on this year?

At Giacom, the vendors we see making a bigger impact in the coming year are the security and backup vendors, as people continue to work remotely. In our portfolio we expect to continue to see strong performance from Webroot, Acronis, Vade, Usecure and Skykick

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

We have added a number of vendors to the cloud marketplace, in particular Webroot's security offering, Usecure cyber security training, Bit Titan to help our customers migrate their services and Nuvolex which helps our customers save time managing their customers.

What's the biggest misconception about distribution?

The biggest misconception about distribution would be that it's all about buying and selling products - whether that's physical boxes or a license. But it's not. Like most sectors, successful, profitable businesses are the ones who really understand what their customers need and deliver a buying experience to match. Today, customers aren't just buying the product, they're buying the service and ultimately into the brand..

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

The biggest disappointment of 2020 would have been not being able to get the whole Giacom team together physically. It's been a tough year with the ongoing pandemic, but at Giacom, we've also had a lot to celebrate: reaching the one million mark on licenses through the Cloud Market; another great year of financial results; Hull City, who we sponsor, becoming league champions, to name a few. Usually, we'd come together as a whole team to mark those occasions and celebrate everyone's contribution. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we've instead held virtual celebrations which have still been fun.

Do you expect to grow in 2021?

Absolutely. We have ambitious growth targets for the next three years. Remote and hybrid working have fuelled the growth of cloud-based software solutions and that is set to continue. Giacom doesn't sell directly to end-users, but we are well placed to help the channel take advantage of this opportunity.

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?

Giacom is a cloud services specialist - the Cloud Market was built for the cloud. We didn't bolt cloud services onto an existing hardware distribution business. We've grown by supporting IT businesses as they start to transition their customers to the cloud, and then by adding to our suite of products and services as cloud maturity grows. We're the natural choice to support customers that are both just starting out or those who have more complex needs.

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

Giacom has its own beer. We created two custom India Pale Ales (IPAs) with a local brewer a few years ago for Christmas gifts for customers and the Giacom team - it went down very well.

Which £50m-revenue outfit claims to be the UK's longest-running trade-only distie? Find out on following page...

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