CRN launches Top Distributors 2021 report

Report is CRN's most comprehensive attempt yet to map the UK distribution skyline

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read
CRN launches Top Distributors 2021 report

Tech distribution is undergoing one of the most turbulent - and yet also most successful periods - in its history.

The triple whammy of Brexit, Covid and component shortages has put the channel's middle tier firmly in the spotlight, with distributor sales and share prices both spiking sharply through lockdown.

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

Tellingly, the share prices of publicly listed distributors the world over have shot through the roof in recent months - even outperforming the likes of Amazon and Google - as investors vote with their feet.

The CRN Top Distributors Report is CRN's most comprehensive attempt yet to map the UK distribution skyline, and shine a light on the trends impacting the channel's middle tier.

The 40 profiles can be read here (40-26), here (25-11) and here (1-10), with the full report - available exclusively to CRN Essential subscribers here - containing extra comment and analysis.

An abbreviated version of the report can be viewed by all here.

Outmoded, or more relvant than ever?

In February, Forrester analyst Jay McBain caused a stir among the 40 firms in this report when he highlighted 10 "significant" headwinds facing the distribution industry over the next decade.

This included the rise of ecosystems, the proliferation of subscription and consumption models, the explosion in ISVs and accompanying rise in marketplaces that aggregate their solutions, and the decline of precious-metal vendor programmes in favour of new ‘ecosystem'-based schemes.

Each of these threatens to disaggregate distribution, argued McBain, who fingered marketplaces as possibly "the strongest headwind distribution is facing".

Distributors may be facing a threat from new market entrants such as Pax8, but many of the MDs we spoke to instead that distribution is carving out a space for itself at the very centre of the very emerging market forces McBain outlined.

Tech Data UK managing director Dave Watts (pictured above) felt that McBain's conclusions were only half right.

"Distribution shares are increasing faster than those of the biggest IT companies in the world. And I think the reason for that is because [investors] see the coming together that Jay describes, but they also view distributors as the companies best placed to sit in the centre of that new model," he told CRN.

"If you listen to what IDC or Accenture say, once platforms start to exist in a market they generally win. We've seen that with Airbnb and with Uber.

"And [the distributors] already have platforms. The difference between us and those [other] platform developers is that we already have a load of IP and services, the pre-existing vendor offerings and 45 years' of experience of putting solutions together for customers."

More on Vendor

Xerox CEO John Visentin passes away after 'ongoing illness'

Xerox CEO John Visentin passes away after 'ongoing illness'

Visentin has died after complications from an ongoing illness

Nima Green
clock 01 July 2022 • 1 min read
The Channel Company acquires Incisive Media's Technology properties including CRN UK and Computing titles

The Channel Company acquires Incisive Media's Technology properties including CRN UK and Computing titles

With the strategic acquisition, The Channel Company will increase its EMEA footprint, expand CRN as a global brand, and leverage Computing media and events as part of an effort to create a worldwide IT end user community

CRN staff
clock 01 July 2022 • 5 min read
Private cloud offering among a number of new GreenLake services launched by HPE

Private cloud offering among a number of new GreenLake services launched by HPE

Vendor launches new cloud services after introducing new partner programme

Josh Budd
clock 30 June 2022 • 2 min read

Highlights

Staff & Salaries 2022

Staff & Salaries 2022

A snapshot of pay and headcount trends in the UK channel

Doug Woodburn
clock 09 March 2022 • 1 min read
Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Stephen Fenby talks to CRN after Midwich’s 2021 results in which profitability exceeded pre-pandemic levels

Josh Budd
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read
4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

IBM and Microsoft are among a number of vendors which have also announced that they will halt sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Dan Bennett
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read