Tech Data Practices What It Preaches

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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The distributor is doing its largest ever internal IT project, rolling out an IT system for its sales teams to help be more responsive to VARs.

Tech Data is practicing what it preaches.

The distributor is rolling out a new unified IT system for its internal sales people in the biggest internal IT development project the firm has ever done.

Speaking to Channel Insider following the distributor's record Q3 results , Bob Dutkowsky said previously Tech Data's sales people had to look at several computer screens and access several computer systems when a VAR customer called with an order. "It was time consuming for us and for them. It is a miracle we sold anything."

The firm has now deployed a front-end sales tool called OneDesk, allowing all its legacy systems to be accessed from a browser-based system. "We can now find out previous orders from that VAR, recommend alternative products, track shipping and decide which warehouse a product should ship from to get to the VAR the quickest," Dutkowsky said. The technology also allows Tech Data's sales people to recommend other related products, which the firm hopes will improve attach rates.

"We will be more responsive to our customers needs, be able to clothe the products better and service their demand with an alternative product if we don't have a particular one in stock," he added.

He said the roll out started this month and will be gradual, with the U.S. sales teams all running the system by early next year.

Dutkowsky said the new system fits onto the company's three main focuses for the coming year: execution, diversification and innovation. He said Tech Data's strong Q3 results—net sales of $5.9 billion and net income of $40.9 million—was a solid performance and down to good execution. The firm intends to focus its diversification into areas such as wireless (the firm opened a wireless unit in Q3), unified communications, pro audiovisual and virtualization.

Pointer Click here to read more about Tech Data's renewals program.

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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