Specialism: Thin clients and Chromebooks
Key vendors: Lego education, Google, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Igel, HP Anywhere, 10Zig, Merlin Mind
Distribution revenue: £19.7m (-38%)
Headcount: 85 (total)
Getech saw distribution revenues slide by more than a third to £19.7m in 2022 after lockdown artificially boosted its Chromebook sales ledger the previous year, the Ipswich-based firm told us. Some £8.5m of this total came from thin clients and £11.2m from Chromebooks.
Adding in the contribution of its larger resale business, education-focused Getech’s overall revenues hit £53.5m (down from £74.2m the previous year).
Sales have rebounded since the Spring, according to MD Guy Watts, who told us he is counting on partnerships with LEGO education and AI-based teaching assistant Merlin to boost its numbers in the second half and beyond (see below).
“As soon as the sun came out demand has increased significantly for our Chrome and VDI solutions”
Quickfire Q&A with MD Guy Watts
What’s an obscure fact about Getech, or you personally, most people won’t know?
Getech are an Employee Owned trust since 2021. After numerous discussions with PE and VCs and trade buyers, Getech’s management decided the best solution would be to form an EOT so that our loyal and long standing employees would benefit directly from the ongoing growth aspirations of Getech.
Just how tough is it in the market right now?
The cold dark wet months were tough, budgets hit by cost of living issues, power costs and wage demands. But as soon as the sun came out demand has increased significantly for our Chrome and VDI solutions. The pipeline for H2 across all our sectors is very healthy.
What bright spots are you seeing?
LEGO Education has opened up so many unexpected opportunities. Aside from the straight forward classroom teaching opportunities, we have seen so much interest in STEM and outreach opportunities and have developed solutions that enable commercial support for schools from large local employers. The enthusiasm with which these LEGO education solutions are met with by teachers and students is incomparable to any other IT Technology we’ve been involved in.
What’s been your high point of the last 12 months?
Forging a partnership with a South African based telesales agency to drive a 300% increase in our broadband and cloud telephony sales.
Name one thing Getech does better than anyone else…
We have built an organisation that has staff welfare at its core. This results in amazing levels of customer service and support. Happy staff leads to happy customers.
What’s been the biggest development or news story in UK IT distribution so far in 2023?
I can’t honestly say. We are in our own little world doing what we do and sometimes there’s no time to look up and see what the rest of the world is doing. Is it Alex going back to Westcoast 😊
Which technology area or vendor are you betting big on for H2 2023?
AI in the classroom. Getech offer “the world’s first AI-based teaching assistant” from Merlin Mind, supporting teachers in the classroom. Merlin Mind delivers some very tangible, measurable and realisable time savings for teachers in the classroom.
The analysts see distribution becoming increasingly characterised by cloud and marketplaces. Is that reflected in the evolution of your own business?
Analysts have been predicting the demise of distribution and channel for many years, but the channel will always evolve. Cloud and marketplaces will have a role to play, but resellers and niche distributors give a level of focused advice and guidance on a targeted product set to the end-user community that is not available from an online marketplace. Personal advice and guidance will always be preferable to an on line portal in specialist technologies.
Can you give us a prediction on how the distribution sector will evolve over the next 12 months?
Probably more acquisitions as the big disties try to deliver the levels of customer service on offer from niche distributors.