Andy Berry, Tech Data vice president and country general manager for Australia and New Zealand, wants to bring the ‘full power’ of the distributor to the local market.
With the US-based technology distributor in the process of merging with fellow global IT distributor Synnex Corporation as part of a US$7.2 billion deal, the ‘full power’ of Tech Data could soon be very powerful indeed.
For the time being, Berry is banking, in part, on leveraging the investments the company has been making globally, such as its push to build out its platforms play, to deliver some of the resources he hopes to draw into the local region, along with the introduction of new centres of excellence.
As Tech Data’s US$5.4 billion acquisition by affiliates of private equity firm Apollo Global Management reached completion in June last year, the distributor unveiled plans to invest around US$750 million in digital transformation initiatives over the next five years.
Tech Data said at the time that the investment would underpin its strategy to accelerate innovation in ways that it hopes will deliver improved experiences and greater agility for businesses across the technology ecosystem.
For Berry, this investment plays well into the goals he has set for the company in the local market.
“In A/NZ, we’ve got a pretty clear focus here as a leading solutions aggregator and orchestrator,” Berry told ARN. “And what that means for us here in Australia and New Zealand is that we’re very focused very clearly on modern data centre, cloud and on next-gen – security, IoT [internet of things], analytics, data – and these are the areas where we really putting all our focus.
“There’s a couple of strands [in the strategy to achieve that] and one of the strands is to really leverage the investments that Tech Data is making globally.
“Some months ago, the [company] talked about a development in platforms. And there’s two components to that: digital transformation for us as a business so that we can serve effectively, but also providing the platforms to enable our customers and the vendors and the ecosystem to transform as well. So, bringing that to life is a key component to the strategy,” he added.
Berry became Tech Data A/NZ’s head honcho in August last year, the same month the company’s former regional country manager Wendy O’Keeffe took a role to head up the ASEAN operations of Sydney-based distributor Nextgen Group.
“The mandate I have is how do we bring the full global power of Tech Data to bear into A/NZ. How do we align with region, where we put a lot of investment, and to do that effectively?” Berry said.
Part of the work involved in bringing that goal to life is regional investment. For example, the company has been investing in reorganising itself so that it is fully aligned with the global entity, down through the regions and into individual countries, around modern data centre, cloud and the next-gen elements Berry has his focus on at present.
This will help the company properly leverage the global platform and systems investments, he claimed.
“Regionally, there has been investment on a couple of fronts to help bring life to the strategy,” Berry said. “One of these is capability, with the company locally working to harness the global capability of Tech Data and bring all of the relevant pieces down here into the region in a way that is effective in the APAC [Asia Pacific] region, so [it is] a big investment and [we have] some terrific people to do that.”
Making hay while the sun shines
Certainly, now seems like a good time to ramp up local capability with global resources, as the market sees plenty of digital transformation and new solution uptake as companies work to align their IT stacks to the new normal they are finding themselves in following the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
But, according to Berry, there’s more at play here than just the technology. Individual people also play a part, too.
From Berry’s perspective, technology is rarely the inhibitor for transformation. Instead, the humans that choose to embrace that technology typically are a little bit slower than the technology alone might be, because there are often ingrained behaviours and ways of doing things.
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