Tech Data brass bullish on second half of 2012

Bob Dutkowsky

Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Tech Data’s heavy hitters – CEO Bob Dutkowsky, Canadian president Rick Reid, and the board of directors, including founder and former CEO Steve Raymund – were in town to take a closer look at the Canadian operation, and the “crown jewel” of the distributor’s 26 Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) and Advanced Technology Solutions Centre (ATSC) facilities. The board visit speaks “volumes” of Tech Data Canada, said Dutkowsky, “one of the best [divisions] in the world.”

Dutkowsky talked about the distributor’s latest financial results, new executive hires, and his bullish outlook for the second half of 2012. On August 21 Tech Data reported an 8 per cent year-over-year drop in revenues for second-quarter fiscal 2013, ended July 31. Net sales were $5.96 billion, with net income $34.5 million. While this quarter fell short of expectations, it followed a solid first quarter and he expects a much better second half. Europe represented 60 per cent of global sales, and the Americas, which account for the bulk of the remainder, were hurt by some SAP implementation issues in the US operation.

“Our Americas business had solid performance,” said Dutkowsky. While the SAP issues hurt US profits, he said the company has already successfully implemented SAP software 20 times in Europe, and its this software which “makes our people smarter and more efficient.” SAP’s software is a big part of the distributor’s future, and a key differentiator from the other distributors, he added.

Tech Data Canada had a solid first half, said Reid. While the overall IT market dropped 3 per cent year-over-year, the subsidiary grew 2 per cent in the first quarter, and although the second quarter saw a double-digit decline in the Canadian market, the distributor managed to hold its own, with flat sales. Close to half of Canada’s business comes from the AIS division. “It’s allowed us to grow the business exponentially… with bigger deals,” said Reid.

A day after announcing its Q2 results, Tech Data brought back Ken Griffin to head up the US storage business, as VP, AIS Storage Solutions. Having spent the last 8 years with solution provider Bayshore Technologies, after leaving the distributor, he has a strong background in storage and virtualization technologies, said Dutkowsky.

At the start of August Tech Data picked up Bill Brooks as VP Sales, Technical Services, to lead the distributor’s TechEDG government and TechMED healthcare services teams, as well as its TDEducation reseller training and certification services, TDOnCall technical services suite and pre-sales technical support team and the Technology Solutions Center. He has more than 25 years at Ingram Micro, most recently responsible for its North American Customer Service organization and Technical Support team.

Looking ahead, Dutkowsky said Tech Data is now “positioned from the data center to the living room and all points in between.” A few years ago the distributor was a desktop company, and since has changed its focus to four areas: data center, mobility, software (almost $5B last year) and consumer electronics.

“We had a really strong first half of the year and we’re optimistic for the second half,” he said.

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