Inside the role of the specialist distributor as the champion of emerging disruptor vendors
A wave of new technologies can baffle the market, but specialist value-add distributors have carved a niche shepherding resellers towards the best new vendors.
As innovation continues unabated, the supply of new vendors outstrips the possibility of resellers being able to develop the market for all new entries. This has enabled specialist distributors to become the benchmark for which fresh technologies resellers should supply, alongside providing the support and education to fuel the growth of these new players.
William Bond, country manager of specialist distributor Commtech, said the firm is a case in point by focusing on disruptive, emerging technology, enabling resellers to have some additional value as they speak to customers.
"When the bigger distributors compete with each other on the same product lines, they do not differentiate themselves. The distribution pond has become smaller and this has enabled specialist distributors to offer true depth in knowledge and an ability to take a technology from concept to delivery with a reseller," he said.
Bond explained that this process will include recruitment, training, business plans, marketing activity and rapid quote turnarounds.
"We take a partner which has no knowledge of a technology or a vendor and walk them through the whole process," he added.
Despite Commtech being continually approached by vendors, Bond said the firm keeps its vendor stable at just eight in the UK.
"New vendors come to us on a weekly basis as they see us as a good route to market. A lot of the larger distributors might take them on and wait for the technology to sell itself.
"Instead, we choose to cherry-pick the right technology and the right vendors so that we are able to fully support them alongside supporting our resellers in delivering a message to their end users."
Bond said the firm has eight vendor partners as that is the right number to maintain its support to those vendors and the resellers.
"We have a team of external BDMs in the UK, all customer-facing, all reseller-facing, and we believe that as we grow we can invest in those resources. The larger distributors believe in splitting a number of vendors between one BDM, where we want to do a good job for this technology and these vendors," said Bond.