2011 predictions: Qualitel managing director Mike Ridgway

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Qualitel managing director Mike Ridgway predicts the emergence of super-disties and super-dealers in the year ahead
“2011 will be dominated by acquisition and alignment in what is viewed by most analysts as an undervalued sector where growth and handsome returns can be made.

“Acquisition in distribution has created a tier of ‘super disties’.

“Forward-thinking B2B dealers will follow this strategy in their own market, where customer base and ongoing revenue are vital.

““Growth by acquisition is more secure than unleashing yet another sales force on a market that now looks for loyalty and value, not short-term gains.

“Customers now know the grass is rarely greener than with a reputable player, so we expect minimal churn. Clients want expertise – in hardware, solutions, applications and networks.

“There will be strategic alignments between dealers and networks. Networks that are not proactive with dealer partners will lose out.

“Long-term deals will be struck. There will be very few total independents left. Most serious B2B dealers will become dual network, at most.

“Dealers will ramp up marketing behind partners, and drive ongoing revenue. It won’t get easier; we have to be bigger and better.”

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