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Tech Data CEO: We’re Growing Faster Than the Industry

Bob Dutkowsky

Bob Dutkowsky

Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky has a concise message for staff, channel partners and technology companies: In its most recent quarter, the distributor grew worldwide sales about 2 percent in constant currency — and that’s faster than the overall market.

“We believe [our growth] is faster than the industry grew in the quarter,” Dutkowsky told ChannelE2E today. “Our major rivals are flat to down.”

Indeed, earning season hasn’t been kind to multiple distributors. But Tech Data’s shares climbed today based on the company’s latest quarterly results and forecasts. Dutkowsky concedes that IT demand is relatively bad, but he says Tech Data is outperforming the market thanks to three factors:

  • An IT ‘nervous system’ combined with business intelligence platforms, which allow the company to anticipate changing customer and partner needs.
  • A best-in-class workforce.
  • The right technology partners.

“The bedrock of the company is the nervous system that allows us to sense motions and opportunities, and respond accordingly,” he asserts. “Second, we just believe we have the best people in the industry making this business go. We’ve got great people with a great set of tools, and they can push  a ruck up the hill faster than those who don’t have the right tools.”

Tech Data: Technology Sales Trends

Tech Data doesn’t disclose specific IT market segment sales, but Dutkowsky says the company is “well positioned” with the right mix of partners across servers, storages, networking, software, consumer electronics, cloud and more.

Still, Dutkowsky shared some sales anecdotes with us. Networking and security sales were strong during the quarter, he said. Plus, Tech Data’s laptop and PC business grew during the quarter. The reason? PC vendors are looking for help to better manage their own businesses in a down market.

Meanwhile, the company remains well capitalized to execute on potential M&A, if needed. Tech Data has purchased roughly 20 companies in the past decade. While 80 percent of overall M&A fails, the opposite is true of Tech Data’s deals: 80% of them succeed, Dutkowsky claims.

Tech Data Cloud Services and Beyond

On the cloud front, Tech Data now generates about $300 million worth of sales per year. The figure is growing rapidly but remains small compared to the company’s overall business — about $26 billion in 2015.

Dutkowsky sees plenty of opportunity to sell endpoints and network infrastructure that leads consumers and businesses to popular cloud services like NetFlix. “Tech Data sees the cloud as a huge upside opportunity, not a downside problem,”  he said. “Based on the complexity that the cloud represents to the end user customer, there will always be a role to make the pieces fit to fit together.”

Overall, Dutkowsky says he’s still enjoying the management journey at Tech Data. Next month marks 39 years for him in the IT industry. And October will mark 10 years at Tech Data.

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