As Axiz turns 30, MD Craig Brunsden looks at the past and discusses what the future holds for the company.

Widely viewed by the industry as South Africa’s top ICT distribution company, Axiz is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.

Axiz has gone through many changes over its 30-year history, says Craig Brunsden, MD of Axiz. “From starting as a component distributor to its acquisition by Alviva (then Pinnacle Holdings) and merger with Workgroup, the secret to our success is our constant evaluation of our business practises, as well as our ability to move with the times. We listen to our customers and vendor partners, and ensure we are always delivering what they .”

He says as distributors in the channel, Axiz has seen many shifts happen over time. “Look at the IT boom, dot com bomb, and a major recession. We have also seen waves of trends and new technologies cause ripples in the market. However, the majority of these trends have been more of a shift in technologies, or a difference in format.”

“Now we are seeing digital transformation shaking up the industry, and for the first time, all the hype is real. We realise that if we’re going to compete, we have to respond to the significant shifts that digital transformation requires the industry.

Further, ICT distribution is not exempt from this transformation, he says. “All distributors are looking to acquire or expand services and solution offerings and have had to revamp their channel offerings to reflect the new digital dynamics we see today.”

Moreover, with this in mind, a significant part of Axiz’s transformation has been the development of its B2B digital platform. “To meet the needs of our partners, we decided it was time to serve ourselves up digitally. We aim to create a digital twin of the Axiz business, serving up our products and services in a digital format integrated with the value that we currently offer. We realised that customers need to improve productivity while reducing friction in effecting business.”

So this goes beyond e-commerce and procuring products on a portal. “We are talking about the consumption of cloud services, as well as the bundling of services, including cloud and tangible products. Our B2B platform will facilitate ease of doing business with us, delivering to our partners exactly what they need when they need it.”

Besides, he believes the nature of Axiz’s business is also changing, as the company sees itself becoming more services oriented, and more of an aggregator, who will on-sell services and skills to partners who need them.  “Take a skilled role, such as a cybersecurity engineer,” he explains. “Because resellers are under pressure, not all o’f them will have the volume of business to support skills of that nature. However, if we can sell those skills in increments, to enable resellers who will buy their time, as and when required, we satisfy a need in their business.”

Going forward, he says we are executing the Axiz strategy on the belief that next-generation, fourth industrial technologies such as digital, cloud, mobile, hyper-converged infrastructure, and analytics are going to be what drives their growth and development over the next few years. “And our success depends entirely on our ability to help partners through this transformation, and meet their needs in the emerging digital economy.”

“This time, it’s not just a question of how digital transformation is affecting the channel, and how we can help our partners manage this change, it’s how digital transformation is affecting our own business. We have to transform with our customers.”

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About Axiz:

Axiz is a leading distributor of IT hardware and software and represents some of the world’s largest vendors, such as Adobe, AOC, Aruba, Authlogics, Check Point, Cisco, Citrix, CommVault, Corel, Dell, DellEMC, DellWyse, eBeam, Forcepoint, Gamatronic, HP, HP Enterprise, IBM, Infoblox, McAfee, IoT.nxt, Kingston, Lenovo, Logitech, Micro Focus, Microsoft, Mindjet, Norton, Net Trace, Nuance, Opengear, Oracle, Peplink, Quest, Red Hat, Rocket, Sensepost, Simplivity, Sintrex, Solarwinds, Supermicro, SUSE, Targus, VCE, Veeam, VMware, Veritas and Zimbra.

Axiz is a subsidiary of the listed IT group, Alviva Holdings, and has been delivering solutions to its channel partners for over 25 years. Axiz is one of the largest IT distributors in Africa. The company has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Harare, Gaborone, Lusaka, Maputo, Nairobi and Windhoek.

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