More details arising about the integration of SDG in Tech Data
A few months after the official acquisition of British value-added broadliner SDG by American behemoth Tech Data, the picture of the organisation is getting clearer. Tech Data is planning to include merge SDG activities into its local TD Azlan BUs, hence creating the largest VAD in the EMEA region. Already in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, local SDG managers (respectively Joël Pera, Henk Snijders and Paul Eccleston) have been officially appointed managers of TD Azlan. In the Netherlands, Tech Data has moved into ETC offices. In France, most TD Azlan businesses will move to Best'ware premises while, in the United Kingdom, all offices (Basingstoke, Langley, Warrington and Birmingham) wil be kept for an optimal coverage of the country and to ensure that no vital human competencies leave the distributor. In the process, sub brands have been created in this country: TDAzlan ETC (Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions), TDAzlan ISI (Advanced IBM Solutions), TDAzlan SDG (Advanced Infrastructure Solutions) and TDAzlan IQSys (Enterprise Software Solutions). Most redundancies should occur in the less "value added" businesses of SDG, albeit it is currently difficult to know much details about this. Until autumn, both companies should continue to work separately, in order to make sure that the integration is seamless for customers.
Northamber loses out IBM
United Kingdom: broadliner Northamber has confirmed to have been dropped as an IBM distributor, after 28 years of partnership. The move will leave Big Blue with three distributors in the region - VAD Arrow ECS, multispecialist Avnet and broadliner SDG.
SDG stores with Whiptail
United Kingdom: until the effective merge with Tech Data, it's business as usual for SDG. The broadliner has thus been chosen by Whiptail to distribute its Invista flash storage array expansion in the country.
Mitel and SDG partner to bring virtualised voice to the desktop
United Kingdom: unified communication and collaboration vendor Mitel has partnered with broadliner SDG. The strategic partnership will see SDG offering hosted and virtual voice and unified communications from Mitel, based on the VMware desktop virtualisation platform. The agreement with SDG will enable Mitel to stimulate incremental growth for its virtualisation offering and expand its channel market by providing partners with high-value virtualised solutions that meet the growing demand from IT decisions makers. SDG offers a skilled team that can support its channel partners in offering Mitel's voice solutions through flexible delivery models, either physically or virtually on customer premise, or via various cloud delivery models.
SDG gets into services
Amidst rumours of an acquisition by Ingram Micro, British distribution group SDG, which is present in Algeria, France (as Best'Ware and ETC), Mauritius, Morocco (as B'Ware and SDG), the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom (with ISI, Interchange and IQSys BU), is working hard to position itself more and more as an international company. It is thus trying to sign or expand group-wide partnerships with its most technical and strategic vendors, like the one signed with Chinese network vendor Huawei. Other should follow in the coming weeks and months. Beside these partnerships, SDG has also started to develop a portfolio of services which will be deployed group-wide.
To support this initiative, the distributor has built a small team, managed by Daniel Cartter and based in UK, whose job is to detect the best practices of each company of the group, adapt and market them for a use in all countries where the distributor is concerned, with an aim to answer more efficiently to the needs of its local resellers. The EMEA marketing team leverages its work with a newly launched pan-European SDG Business Solution Centre (BSC). Initially based in Birmingham and Langley (United Kingdom) and backed with a multi-million euro investment, the Solution Centre has been duplicated in Lieusaint (France) and Bodegraven (the Netherlands), with a remote access from Dubai and Casablanca. The pan-European facility provides a fully virtualised, converged, multi-vendor environment. Technical pre-sales specialist resource enables reseller partners to build the right solution, both technically and commercially to answer their end user opportunities. The Business Solution Centre is designed specifically to demonstrate, educate and assess the latest infrastructure hardware and software solutions from leading technology vendors, including Citrix, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Symantec, Veeam and VMware.
SDG's first international services are Sales Acceleration Services. The goal of these services is to help resellers earn more money at each level of the sales process (leads, pre-sale, financing, after-sale, support, etc.). They include, assembled from best practices from several countries:
- Channel Practice: consulting, access to specialized teams and infrastructure solutions to help resellers answer more efficiently the technical needs of the end customers
- Channel Finance: a full offer of financial services to help resellers miss not a single sale
- Channel Smart: a marketing help including vendor budget optimisation, marketing planning and strategy, event and project management or creation support
- Channel Support: an international, multilingual technical support centre, which can be reached either remotely or on site, depending on the needs of the end customers through a dedicated support centre based in Romania (the distributor claims to have a 200-people strong support team, shared between Romania and local offices)
- Channel Academy: a wealth of authorized training accessible through, again, the pan-European SDG Business Solution Centre and external partners like Global Knowledge
The second international service, which has been launched a few weeks ago, is SDG Cloudware, again built on local best practices. SDG Cloudware is a suite of tools, services and solutions designed to enable SDG's channel partners to deliver Cloud services. It consists of the following services:
- Internal Cloud deployment (either on new or existing infrastructures)
- Partner with SDG's Hybrid Cloud infrastructure (Cloud as a Service, Hosted Disaster Recovery, Hosted Desktop Infrastructure, SaaS Line of Business Applications, Platform as a Service for ISV partners)
- MSP Programme (VAR to MSP Business Transformation Planning, Cloud Infrastructure Supply, "As a Service" Design Strategies)
- ISV Programme (Platform as a Service for ISV partners and Marketing and sales strategy development)
- Public Cloud Utilization (Public Cloud Deployment Strategy Development, Google and Amazon EC2 Cloud Services)
All these services should allow resellers to grow in skills and efficiency, and get an access to resources they do not have internally: "what do you need marketing funds for, if you have no marketing team?" explains to ITdistri Paul Eccleston, Managing Director EMEA for SDG. Of course, there were previously equivalent services for each country, but they were more or less complete. Each country, starting with France, has now an access to a complete, fully marketed services offer, made by a European distributor for European resellers. According to Paul Eccleston, SDG's services are more comprehensive than its competitors', better packaged and better sold, as local teams are being recruited and trained to push them to resellers. Globally, SDG plans to have a 40 people dedicated team for its services, to which may be added the 200-people strong support team. New elements in the existing services or even new services should be launched in the coming months and years, while Paul Eccleston did not unveil any further specific plans.