Top 40 IT distributors you need to know: Part Three

Doug Woodburn
clock • 28 min read
Top 40 IT distributors you need to know: Part Three

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 10th to 1st...

Welcome to the final part of our countdown of the UK's top distributors, which profiles the top 10 by revenue.

Those ranked 40th to 26th are profiled here, with the 25th-11th ranked firms profiled here.

Part three of our countdown features ten distribution powerhouses with revenue of over £200m. Five boast revenues of over £1bn, with less than £350m separating the top three. Read on to find out who topped the revenue league table.

Distributors may be facing renewed questions about their role in the ecosystem, but research by CRN confirms the enduring buoyancy of the sector.

The top 40 UK IT distributors on our radar* generated collective revenues of £12.9bn in their most recent financial years on record, up 7.6 per cent year on year.

"The stated intent is to keep Cloud Distribution separate"

10. Nuvias

UK revenues: £220.7m (+11%)

UK headcount: 260

Specialism: Cybersecurity, storage, UC

Vendors include: Juniper Networks, Check Point, poly, WatchGuard, Barracuda Networks

UK HQ: Woking, Surrey

Recent acquisitions: Wick Hill (2015), Zycko (2015), Siphon (2016), Cloud Distribution (2021)

Born in 2016, the Nuvias brand brought together three UK VADs acquired in quick succession by Rigby Private Equity in the form of security specialist Wick Hill, storage ace Zycko and UC-focused Siphon. It has since expanded across EMEA and now claims to serve 5,000 resellers in 20 countries.

According to fresh numbers Nuvias shared with us, UK revenues rose 11 per cent to £220.7m in its year to 31 March 2021, with the group total hitting €475m (£408m).

Nuvias moved this month to bolster its UK cybersecurity prowess by acquiring 30th-ranked VAD Cloud Distribution. Below Nuvias CEO Simon England runs CRN through the deal.

How did you seal such a significant deal during lockdown?

It was all only done through a virtual business model, so we haven't actually met once. [Cloud Distribution CEO] Greg [Harris] did have a dinner with a [Rigby Private Equity] shareholder, Mr Rigby, but that's the only face-to-face contact we've had.

How much autonomy will Cloud Distribution enjoy?

We're taking over all shares and all shareholders are in the game. The stated intent is to keep Cloud Distribution separate as a part of the group. Basically, we are asking Cloud to keep doing what they were doing because that's the reason we're acquiring them. There's a swim lane or a segment of the market that Cloud Distribution has been going for, which we find is very relevant for ourselves too.

Why not build this capability organically?

If you look at what it takes to move a vendor from almost nothing, into the first million, there's actually a lot more hand holding needed than most larger distribution organisations can do. We have been doing some of this within Nuvias - it is not as if it's foreign to us. But the main focus of our efforts aren't in that space.

And it really has two flavours: it has the flavour of new emerging technology vendors coming into the market, but it also has the flavour of sub elements of some of the more established vendors as they acquire. And actually we believe this is something that Cloud Distribution already has. So whereas in other countries we have to be organically building this, unless we can find a very comparable fit, we can see that this is something that Cloud do very well and they've actually built a business out of it.

How will Cloud benefit from being part of a bigger, pan-European group?

We have a logistic setup for a £500m business which is at a different scale than you would expect in Cloud Distribution. So supporting, for example, transactions that Cloud is doing with UK partners into international projects becomes a lot easier together than it would have been on its own for Cloud in the past. So there's natural benefits that will come. But what we want to do initially is keep doing what we're doing.

*Brokers, sub-distributor and others not holding direct contracts with vendors were not considered for this report. We also chose to exclude those specialising in technologies outside CRN's core market. This includes distributors of mobile phones, industrial components, gaming software and office supplies. For the top ten, where possible we have isolated a UK distribution total. But the headline revenue numbers of those further down the list often contain international as well as UK sales. For hybrid reseller-distributors, we have attempted to split out just the distribution number. For hybrid manufacturer-distributors, we chose not to do this. The figures in this report are based on data from Companies House, or figures shared by the company.

Which listed distributor suffered a 29 per cent dip in annual revenues last year? Find out on next page...

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