Antony Young, Commercial Director at IQBlade, on why organisations need to focus on data strategy to better support customers in a post-Covid-19 world and what our real-life sales data reveal about the impact of the pandemic on the IT market.

Applying Data to Make an Impact

As businesses assess the impact of coronavirus and get used to the “new normal”, the effective use of internal and external data to drive smarter business plans and personalised digital marketing campaigns will be a key differentiator for Vendors and Partners in the IT channel.

Every technology business has a wealth of data at their disposal but many struggle to derive business benefits from it. That is essentially why Ben Abraham and I set-up IQBlade in 2016. We created a platform to provide the technology sector with channel and end-user intelligence. Along with our new parent company, TD SYNNEX, we are now harnessing huge volumes of internal and external data with the aim of building services to help our Vendors and Channel Partners not only survive, but emerge from the Covid-19 crisis as quickly and effectively as possible.

There are several ways Vendors and Channel Partners can take advantage. Here are a few thoughts:

  • We’re seeing growth in next-generation solutions created to help Retail and office spaces manage social distancing. Our data can identify end user organisations who might be interested in such solutions.
  • Just as importantly, we can identify Channel Partners who have the relationships to take solutions to market more efficiently.
  • Our data can identify Channel Partners who might need support in the coming months, as their legacy business was heavily dependent on sectors badly affected by the crisis. These are the organisations who would benefit most from enablement and transformation programmes.
  • Our data can be used to identify ‘white space’ sales opportunities, where end user customers have recently purchased products, but now have different requirements, in this fast-changing work environment. For example, they purchased 100 desktops for their office in December, but now need to shift strategy and deploy additional comms and software to enable these devices to be used at home.

What Real-time Data Reveals About Current Market Trends

Our data science team in Prague has been analysing sales data to identify how Covid-19 has affected business sectors and product categories. This enables us to detect which Channel Partners may need support, along with how to manage stock and credit in the short term.

The team has done this initial piece of work for Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. Using the countries’ data, we were able to review the share of tech spend across the top sectors, then compare it to the 12-month period pre-Covid-19.

Tech Spend Share

The share of tech spend for the top 11 sectors has crept above 80%, with smaller sectors such as charities or food and beverage, spending less as a percentage of the total. Unsurprisingly, healthcare share has leapt from 11th position to 5th.

Meanwhile, retail has declined considerably, even though it still spends more on technology than any other sector.

Transportation has dropped share too. It is surprising to see the lack of meaningful change in industries that have had significant practical issues during the pandemic, such as manufacturing and construction.

April 2020 European Sales Data Review

Reviewing European sales data, share of spend, in April 2020, country-by-country, threw up some surprises. Here are a few interesting statistics from each country:

  • In Spain, finance seems to be the hot sector for tech vendors and partners, leaping from just 3.36%, to over 14% share in April 2020. Retail’s share of tech spend fell by almost half during April but is slowly returning.
  • In France, the big change has been spending in the communications sector. It dropped from 4th in the share table (7%) to 20th (1.1%).
  • In Belgium, retail, consulting and services accounted for just under 50% of the tech spend pre-Covid. In April, retail dropped considerably, but the other two increased significantly taking the top 3 over 52%. However, in the last 2 weeks, retail has bounced right back to being around 34% of all tech spend.
  • In Germany, tech into the technology sector (XSPs, ISVs, etc) seems to be the trend. Pre-Covid, it accounted for 10.9% of all spend. By April this had risen to 12% and in the last 2 weeks it’s above 16%.
  • In Italy, transportation bucked the trend and stayed fairly constant at a little over 5% of spend. In the last couple of weeks this has started to rise above 8%.
  • In the Netherlands, retail’s share didn’t fall as sharply in April as in other countries and in the last 2 weeks it’s actually increased to almost 40% of the total tech spend.
  • In the UK, transportation and education dropped down the league table. Retail recovered from a fall in April to take a higher share than before Covid-19 at 19.48%. This could well be as a result of stores planning to reopen and needing technology to enable social distancing, or as a result of increased investment in their online retail capabilities.

These insights help vendors and customers to quickly pivot towards growth segments. Now is the time to invest in data-driven market insights to help Channel Partners achieve better business outcomes.

Looking ahead, we believe reliable and accurate data insights will be an essential component for companies looking to build new business and marketing strategies for the ‘new norm’.

About IQBlade

IQBlade is the data science practice within Tech Data in Europe. Our real-time sales data and advanced analytics platform enable vendors and channel partners to make smarter, more agile sales and marketing plans based on meaningful, value-added market insights.

For more information, visit IQBlade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Data Europe sales data, share of spend by vertical in Europe – extract from April, 2020

 

The share of tech spending for the top 11 sectors has crept above 80%, with smaller sectors such as charities or food and beverage spending less as a percentage of the total. Unsurprisingly, healthcare share has leapt from 11th position to 5th. Meanwhile, retail has declined considerably, even though it still spends more on technology than any other sector. Transportation has dropped share too. It is surprising to see the lack of meaningful change in industries that have had significant practical issues during the pandemic, such as manufacturing and construction.

Reviewing the data country-by-country threw up some surprises compared to the combined picture. Here are just a few interesting statistics from each country:

In Spain, finance seems to be the hot sector for tech vendors and partners, leaping from just 3.36%, to over 14% share in April and throughout the last two weeks. Retail’s share of tech spend fell by almost half during April but is slowly returning.
In France, the big change has been spending in the communications sector. It dropped from 4th in the share table (7%) to 20th (1.1%).
In Belgium, retail, consulting and services accounted for just under 50% of the tech spend pre-Covid. In April, retail dropped considerably, but the other two increased significantly taking the top 3 over 52%. However, in the last 2 weeks, retail has bounced right back to being around 34% of all tech spend.
In Germany, tech into the technology sector (XSPs, ISVs, etc) seems to be the trend. Pre-Covid, it accounted for 10.9% of all spend. By April this had risen to 12% and in the last 2 weeks it’s above 16%.
In Italy, transportation bucked the trend and stayed fairly constant at a little over 5% of spend. In the last couple of weeks this has started to rise above 8%.
In the Netherlands, retail’s share didn’t fall as sharply in April as in other countries and in the last 2 weeks it’s actually increased to almost 40% of the total tech spend.
In the UK, transportation and education dropped down the league table. Retail recovered from a fall in April to take a higher share than before Covid-19 at 19.48%. This could well be as a result of stores planning to reopen and needing technology to enable social distancing, or as a result of increased investment in their online retail capabilities.
These insights into recent market trends can help vendors and customers to quickly pivot towards growth segments. Now is the time to invest in data-driven market insights to help channel partners to achieve a better business outcome.

Looking ahead, we believe that reliable and accurate data insights will be in an essential component for companies looking to build new business and marketing strategies for the ‘new norm’.

About IQBlade

IQBlade is the data science practice within Tech Data in Europe. Our real-time, real-life sales data and advanced analytics platform enable vendors and channel partners to make smarter, more agile sales and marketing plans based on meaningful, value-added market insights. For more information, please contact us at sales@iqblade.com.

 

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