GTDC Summit Focuses on Channel Success in an Era of Disruption

Technology distributors continue to grow and transform with multivendor solutions and new services.

GTDC SUMMIT, SAN FRANCISCO – September 7, 2017 – The Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) today concluded its 15th annual GTDC Summit at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. This year’s Summit brought together a record-breaking number of registrants, including more than 80 vendor companies and approximately 70 top executives from the world’s largest technology distributors. The GTDC’s distribution members generate more than $130 billion in annual product and services business across the globe. As communicated during GTDC CEO Tim Curran’s “state of distribution” address and based on The NPD Group’s Distributor Track data, the industry increased U.S. sales by more than $1 billion (approximately 4%) through July 2017 compared to the corresponding period last year.

Alain Monié, CEO of Ingram Micro, Announced as GTDC’s Vice Chairman

The two-day Summit kicked off yesterday with open networking sessions and welcome remarks from GTDC Chairman Mike Long, the president and CEO of Arrow Electronics, who announced the GTDC’s appointment of Alain Monié, CEO of Ingram Micro, as the organization’s vice chairman. This year’s conference featured a broad range of speakers, panels and breakout sessions focused on key market trends, best practices in partnering with distributors, and extensive networking – with numerous individual meetings scheduled as part of the unique opportunity to connect with multiple CEOs and other distribution leaders throughout both days of the Summit.

Distributor Services Gaining Momentum

In Curran’s presentation, the GTDC CEO explained that the “legacy” image of distribution as pick/pack/ship specialists has been “shattered” by the industry’s continuous evolution with innovative services and product offerings, including more than 600 new vendor partners entering distribution every two years. Curran’s address also noted that hundreds of existing and new vendors in distribution are experiencing growth, evidenced by a list he presented of 588 partners fitting the description in 2017 through July. (See related GTDC release on the industry’s Rising Star Award winners based on The NPD Group Distributor Track data from June 2016 – May 2017.)

“Despite all the disruption sweeping across the technology industry today, distributors are again proving their ability to adapt and grow,” Curran commented. “The massive mix of comprehensive solutions available from distributors now goes much deeper on the services front to complement their continuously advancing product portfolios.”

The strengthening services focus in distribution is captured in a new GTDC web page Curran emphasized in his keynote, where visitors can learn more about related offerings from vendor planning and marketing phases to deployment and post-sale support as well as lifecycle renewal and disposition. Curran’s address also covered growth categories and destination channels, most notably the impact of small VARs. Among the market segment highlights, hyperconverged infrastructure reflected a 500% increase in year-over-year sales for the first seven months of 2017.

Channel to the Top Session Centers on Cloud Needs

In an expert panel moderated by Khali Henderson, senior partner at BuzzTheory Strategies, distribution leaders discussed ways they can better service cloud providers. The session explored opportunities and challenges for partnerships between traditional hardware distributors embracing services models and emerging services vendors eager to tap distributors’ vast channel sales engines. The first day of the conference concluded with a networking reception and dinner.

Megatrends and Best Practices Across the Globe

The Summit’s featured keynote speaker today, Rich Karlgaard, offered a unique vantage point on the world affairs that are driving business and investment climates. A global futurist and entrepreneur-turned-publisher for Forbes, Karlgaard gives insight to help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

After Karlgaard’s keynote, two panels followed with sharp focus on the new frontier for customer experience, moderated by Tiffani Bova, global growth and sales evangelist at Salesforce; and distribution in a digital services economy, led by Denise Sangster, president and CEO of Global Touch. Breakout sessions this afternoon provided additional value and key takeaways relative to emerging market segments and corresponding channel connections:

“Partners in Protection” Panel – Security experts discuss exclusive GTDC cybersecurity research unveiled at Summit 2017 and the implications for all types of vendors. Access the related report.

3 Years Ahead: Insights into Advancing Distribution Partnerships – GTDC-sponsored research takes you into today’s challenges and proactive solutions with sights set on powering up partnerships in the new era. 

Channel Relevance in the Cloud – Takes a look at the various channel players and how they will need to adopt new approaches for revenue capture that differs from what they’ve done for the past two decades. 

IT Distribution Addressing Disruptive Forces & New Realities – Market forces are changing dramatically; hear how The NPD Group expects IT distributors and channel partners to capitalize.

The Global Galaxy: Driving Business Across International Borders – For vendors and distributors looking to grow on a global scale, this interactive session brings an enlightened sense of what distributors are doing and how to work with them in bigger and broader capacities.

For more information on the 2017 GTDC Summit, the GTDC’s research and other distribution industry news, go to

About The Global Technology Distribution Council

The Global Technology Distribution Council is the industry consortium representing the world’s leading tech distributors. GTDC members drive more than $130 billion in annual worldwide sales of products, services and solutions through diverse business channels. GTDC conferences support the development and expansion of strategic supply-chain partnerships that continually address the fast-changing marketplace needs of vendors, end customers and distributors. GTDC members include AB S.A (WSE: ABPL), ABC Data, Almo Corporation, Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW), Computer Gross Italia (SES:MI), D&H Distributing, ELKO, Exclusive Networks, Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM), Intcomex, Logicom (CSE:LOG), Pinnacle (JSE: AVV), SiS Technologies (HKSE: 0529), SYNNEX (NYSE: SNX), Tarsus, Tech Data (NASDAQ: TECD), TIM AG and Westcon-Comstor.

GTDC Media Contact:

Chuck Miller
(813) 876-0414