Don’t discount plain old PC refreshes either, Kinlaw adds. Though extended support for Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system ended in January, plenty of businesses are still running it.
“The Microsoft data that I saw this week astounded me, the number of Windows 7 devices still in usage just in North America alone,” Kinlaw says. “There’s more work to be done with communication on why you should move up the stack and perhaps what it means to buy not just an entry-level PC.”
There’s further work ahead in helping partners of all kinds through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well, he continues. “Working in a COVID environment, a vendor and a VAR partner need more things out of distribution,” Kinlaw notes, adding that extra financing assistance is one of them. “Everybody in these new environments is compressed or squeezed for capex and opex, and distribution has the capability to step in and alleviate those pain points.”
Though coping with COVID-19 has been no picnic for Tech Data or its partners, the financial repercussions for the endpoint business have been positive. “It’s been a fantastic year,” Kinlaw says. “We certainly saw and recognized double digit growth.” Tech Data expects sales to remain strong well into 2021, moreover, “even after the boon of what happened in 2020, so that’s saying a lot,” Kinlaw notes.
The only headwind that could get in the way are the supply chain backlogs Tech Data, like other distributors, has been facing for months. Those continue to affect numerous product categories, but may be set to ease in the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of next year. “We’re getting indicators from the major vendors that they are recovering,” Kinlaw says.
The endpoint solutions group will be ready to capitalize on that recovery when it occurs, he insists. “There’s still work to be done, but the talent is there, the offerings are there, [and] the structure is there.”