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View from the channel – Andy Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer, Aurora

Q: How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?

A: Business is much better than 12 months ago. Some of this was to be expected with a return to a form of normality post-COVID. Equally, supply chains are improving, and the worst of the chip crisis appears behind us. The improvement is home grown too with our rebrand, new propositions, investment in organic growth and refreshed management all gaining traction with customers. In recent weeks we’ve completed the biggest deal in our history and the future looks incredibly bright.

Q: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?

A: Across all areas really. Customers are emerging from COVID with a lot of pent up demand. Many have taken time to assess their infrastructure and are looking to transform, others to simply upgrade, reduce cost and improve efficiency. Revenues and activity are up across MPS, telecoms and IT services, however, the solutions mix within deals is an area where we see a significant uptick.

Q: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?

A: As I mentioned above, we rebranded on April 1 this year. The rebrand was all about positioning ourselves for the post- COVID era. It wasn’t just a new name, it was a root and branch transformation. New values, new propositions, investment in areas we see critical to our future strategy and a culture shift. All the metrics we put in place to measure success are positive and we’re delighted with the reaction from customers.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?

A: Until recently the biggest challenge was undoubtedly the chip crisis and product availability. However, with one exception, we see all vendors almost back to standard lead times and a return to normal by the New Year. I think one of the challenges within businesses though is to understand what it is you want to be known for and where you want to excel. We learnt this through our rebrand process. There are so many opportunities to diversify, extend your portfolio and deliver consolidation for customers. We have diversified but resisted the temptation to do everything as we want to be brilliant within an increased but focussed portfolio.

Q: Could vendors and distributors do more to help you overcome them? And if so, what?

A: When vendors are being successful, partners will be too. Most partners will talk about improved terms, supported pricing and the like to assist them. I feel vendors also take a responsibility to drive a thriving market too. Investing in market stimulation and awareness will drive them and us to mutual success.

Q: If you could change one aspect of your job what would it be and why?

A: I relish every day in my job and love creating value for our customers, employees and stakeholders. I’m not a fan of distraction and every week I see spam everywhere and increasing in volume. Automated emails in my inbox, LinkedIn spam, cold calls, people using my name whom I’ve never met in my life. I wish I could turn it all off.