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

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."

You may also like
Westcoast acquires Spire Technology to bolster UK distribution presence

Distributor

Westcoast snaps up components distie to expand vendor portfolio, customer base

clock 17 April 2024 • 2 min read
Westcon-Comstor to sell Check Point solutions via AWS in further move towards marketplace

Distributor

New partnership streamlines access to Check Point's cybersecurity solutions, further aligns with AWS

clock 16 April 2024 • 1 min read
Kristin Russell out as Arrow Global Enterprise Computing Solutions president

Distributor

Arrow said in an SEC filing that Kristin Russell was terminated as president of Arrow Global ECS “without cause” effective 2 April and has been replaced by nearly 20-year Arrow veteran Eric Nowak, who was most recently president of EMEA and Australia-New Zealand for Arrow Global ECS.

clock 04 April 2024 • 2 min read

Sign up to our newsletter

The best news, stories, features and photos from the day in one perfectly formed email.

More on Distributor

Pax8 cuts about five per cent of workforce: 'Parting with valued teammates is never easy'

Pax8 cuts about five per cent of workforce: 'Parting with valued teammates is never easy'

The cuts primarily impact the North American side of the business while Pax8 EMEA confirms it isn't affected by the news

CJ Fairfield, O’Ryan Johnson
clock 19 April 2024 • 6 min read
Westcoast acquires Spire Technology to bolster UK distribution presence

Westcoast acquires Spire Technology to bolster UK distribution presence

Westcoast snaps up components distie to expand vendor portfolio, customer base

Andrea Gaini
clock 17 April 2024 • 2 min read
Westcon-Comstor to sell Check Point solutions via AWS in further move towards marketplace

Westcon-Comstor to sell Check Point solutions via AWS in further move towards marketplace

New partnership streamlines access to Check Point's cybersecurity solutions, further aligns with AWS

clock 16 April 2024 • 1 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.

clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read