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TECH SUPPLIER Dec 2018 - Market Perspective - Doc # EMEA44525418

Distributor of the Future: How European Distributors Are Evolving in the Fast-Moving Partnering Ecosystem

By: Hannah Stubbings


This IDC Market Perspective analyzes the changing role of distribution in view of the emergence of the 3rd Platform. Distribution as a sector has faced significant change in view of the 3rd Platform, thanks to the rise in popularity of cloud services. Distributors used to add value around shipping, logistics, training, enablement, and financing of big-ticket hardware deals. This value came under threat in the context of cloud, with slowing demand for "pick, pack, and ship" offerings, leading to concerns about the role distributors would — or could — play in the channel. Recognizing this threat, many distributors began to evolve their businesses, their offerings and, in some cases, their entire business models. This report explores some of the challenges distributors are facing, as well as the ways they are tackling these challenges and continuing to add strategic to their partners and vendors, highlighting specific examples and providing recommendations to distributors and vendors that work with distributors.

"Since the rise of cloud more than 10 years ago, questions have been raised about the role distributors would play in the channel. Since then, especially in recent years, distributors have made significant transformations within their businesses to enable them to better serve their vendors and partners in the cloud world. The European distribution landscape is very different from that of the U.S., so many transformation approaches taken locally are of particular interest," said Hannah Stubbings, senior research analyst, IDC European Channels and Alliances.



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