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Feature - 18 December 2019 (ChannelPro)

How channel companies might enjoy US expansion post-Brexit

"The US national religion is Darwinism – evolve or die"

The UK government reckons more SMEs should explore opportunities in the US and beyond – especially after Brexit. Could a channel solutions or services provider do something like that? 

Dave Stevinson, managing director at QBS, says the vanilla reseller or distributor would struggle. "Having just been in Silicon Valley for a week, unless you can own the category, you are worth little. Their investors are not looking at double-digit percentage growth but more like 10 or 100 times," he says.

Instead, the channel can develop collaborative networks to take a unique offering abroad. As Agilitas IT Solutions operations director John Street explained to Channel Pro in November, many channel companies are keen to globalise their businesses, but haven't really done much about it. This is notable as many of the practical, logistical and financial challenges can be mitigated, and rewards could include reducing exposure to risk in any one market, and expanded participation across a vendor ecosystem.

Street says Agilitas, with 92 UK-based staff and a Nottingham head office, works with partners across 60 countries to do just that, staying on target to grow their £12m turnover.

"In the US we're seeing more requests, helping predominantly UK customers with their US clients. We've been investing more into our logistics and expertise. Certain countries will always need expertise to move stock in or out – with Brexit that could become the norm, possibly with more opportunities on the US side," he confirms.

Agilitas works with customers and partners across jurisdictions to produce bespoke solutions, with or without products that must be licensed to move across borders. Typically there'll be a framework agreement – perhaps a statement of work – and legal collaboration can be three-way. . .


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