Tech Data History
Tech Data Corporation was founded in 1974 by Edward C. Raymund, father of the company's chairman and former chief executive officer Steven A. Raymund. Tech Data's original charter was to market data processing supplies directly to end users of mini and mainframe computers. In 1983, the company expanded its target markets and redirected efforts toward servicing microcomputer resellers as a wholesale distributor. Tech Data employed about a dozen people during its formative years and handled all customer orders from a small office/warehouse building in Clearwater, Fla., not far from the company's worldwide headquarters.
Tech Data has emerged as one of the industry's best-performing provider of IT products, logistics management and other value-added services. The company has evolved its business from a "pick, pack and ship" operation into an "integrated supply chain specialist" model where technology manufacturer and resellers rely on Tech Data as an strategic go-to-market partner. While continually expanding its offering of vital industry services such as technical support, education and custom configuration, Tech Data also has successfully expanded into international markets throughout the world.
International Market Leadership
Solid performance in the U.S. supported the corporation's foray into foreign markets. Tech Data expanded into Canada in 1989 through an acquisition, and in early 1993 the company launched an export division based in Miami to serve the Latin American market. Tech Data entered the European market in 1994 through the acquisition of Paris-based Softmart International, S.A, France's largest distributor of personal computer products. In February 1997, the company opened its first distribution center in Latin America. Located in São Paulo, this facility provides select products to all of Brazil—the region's largest market for PC technology.
In one of the most significant developments in Tech Data's history, in July 1998 the company acquired a majority interest in Munich-based Computer 2000, Europe's leading provider of IT products to resellers. Computer 2000 also gave the company broader coverage of Latin America. In May 1999, the company doubled its size in the Canadian market through the acquisition of Globelle Canada. In 2003, Tech Data acquired Azlan Group PLC (Europe), Soft Europe and Gigatape (France) to further strengthen its European presence.
In October 2006, Robert Dutkowsky was named CEO of Tech Data. He joined the company with nearly 30 years experience in the IT industry, including senior executive management positions in sales, marketing and distribution with leading manufacturers and software publishers IBM, EMC and J.D. Edwards.
Dutkowsky quickly began positioning the company to capitalize on new growth opportunities with a renewed emphasis on three key strategic areas: execution, innovation and diversification. In February 2007, Tech Data established a joint venture to create pan-European organization Brightstar Europe Limited, designed to capitalize on the evolving mobile and wireless device market in Europe. The new company distributes mobile phones and other wireless devices to a variety of customers including mobile operators, dealers, agents and retailers throughout the European market. In 2008, Tech Data further strengthened its position in Europe by acquiring certain assets of Nordics-based IT distributor Scribona, making Tech Data the region's market leader. In 2009, the company continued to strengthen its position in the European market by making additional acquisitions that expanded Tech Data's geographic reach, customer base and product offering.
Customer Base Growth and Diversification
Tech Data's geographic expansion has been matched by an equally successful movement into new market segments. In 1992, for example, the customer base of 25,000 was comprised largely of value-added resellers (VARs), corporate resellers and franchisees. Today, Tech Data serves more than 125,000 customers including ASPs, ISPs, Web Integrators, VARs, corporate resellers, systems integrators, system builders, government resellers, exporters, retailers, e-tailers, direct marketers, catalogers and Internet resellers. Tech Data has developed many specialized programs and business units to help ensure its continued success in both new and traditional business channels.