[Channelnomics] Avnet taking back lost market share, claims EMEA boss

Avnet claims it has been winning back European market share it conceded during an “internally focused” period following the blockbuster acquisition of Magirus.Apple pie with one slice removed

Graeme Watt, EMEA president of Avnet Technology Solutions, also expressed his delight that the distributor is “back on the M&A trail”, after closing its first buyout in Europe in three years, in the shape of Munich-based Orchestra Service.

Prior to which, the last acquisition that the US titan made in Europe was that of Magirus, which it snapped up in October 2012. Watt admitted that, as it integrated the $500m-revenue VAD and concurrently rolled out an SAP platform, Avnet’s European business had temporarily been more inward-facing than he would have liked.

“To take on very big projects simultaneously we took an internal focus that we could not avoid,” he explained.

But now, in a brighter European market than for some time, Avnet is driving a level of “premium growth” that exceeds it competitors and is allowing it to take back any lost turf, Watt asserted.

“We have won back market share that we might have lost over the last 18 months to two years,” he said. “We have had consecutive quarters of growth, and I am very pleased.”

Such growth will be boosted by the addition of Orchestra. The EMC and Overland distributor turned over about €85m in 2014 and has recently officially joined the Avnet fold after the two firms agreed a buyout deal in September.

Although Watt indicated that Avnet “oscillates between [being the] number one and number two EMC distributor” in Europe, he admitted that the vendor was “under-represented” in its German business. The distie previously held just “a low single-digit share” of the storage giant’s channel business in the country.

“There is virtually no overlap in terms of what [Orchestra] do. They are strategic to us in the short term, the medium, and the long term,” Watt added. “[The acquisition] continues to drive our leadership position in converged infrastructure, and Orchestra brings a level of value in Germany that we are not currently bringing. And it is not just what it brings us in Germany, but what it brings us across the central region and across EMEA. They have their own intellectual property that they have developed.”

The senior management line-up at Orchestra “are very much going to be part of the team” at their company’s new owner. The integration process will be a “medium-paced” one, Watt predicted.

“We do not have plans to integrate very rapidly… but nor do we intend to keep it as a stand-alone business for the next five or ten years,” he explained.

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