INTERVIEW Clive Alberts, President EUMEA, Verbatim

by Liam McSherry, Friday 17 January 2020

Channel EMEA] [CE] What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What are your key goals for the event? Will you make any specific company announcements at the event?

[Clive Alberts] [CA] VERBATIM key goals for the DISTREE EMEA 2020 is to spend some quality time with our current customers, as well as take the opportunity to meet new prospects and future customers.

[CE] What products/solutions will you be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2020? What do you want distributors to know about your portfolio?

[CA] We will focus on our key storage categories, our HDD, USB and Flash memory ranges. We will also present our new products, especially our security products range (e.g. fingerprint HDD, SSD, USB…).

[CE] Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?

[CA] The main trend for Verbatim channel business is the recognition that in various countries in Europe the bricks and mortar retail business model is switching to the e-tail. Indeed, e-commerce business is significantly increasing and there are now stronger selling actors and also powerful marketing communicators in the market.

[CE] Which geographic areas and/or channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for your company in EMEA and globally?

[CA] Verbatim operates right across EMEA although at DISTREE we are likely to be focusing more on customers from Eastern Europe.

[CE] Why should distributors and retailers focus on your products? What makes your channel proposition better than competitors in the market?

[CA] Verbatim is celebrating its 50 year anniversary this year, which is clear evidence that we continue to provide Technology you can trust! Our customers know that they can rely on our products, customer services and marketing support, and have peace of mind when they purchase from us. Our partners are crucial and we work very closely with them because we primarily operate indirectly through the distribution channel.

[CE] Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners? Please explain this area of your business.

[CA] We have run a “Verbatim Business Partners Program” for many years now. It has really helped support the distribution channel and provide protection for our partners selling Verbatim products.

[CE] What sort of support do you offer distributors in terms of marketing, promotions and channel development activities?

[CA] Our “Verbatim Business Partners Program” offers our registered and approved business partners special promotions and marketing activities (e.g. creation of POS, web banners, advertising, calendars…).

[CE] How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?

[CA] The storage market has been under pressure over recent years, but Verbatim has been fortunate to have identified and developed a number of growing categories including 3D printing, accessories and security solutions.

[CE] Is your company channel friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the EMEA market? What are your overall channel goals and aims for 2020 in EMEA?

[CA] Verbatim fully appreciates and respects channel business. Although we are selling indirectly, it is essential that we put significant effort in our supporting services including comprehensive marketing content, promotional activities and free technical support for end users. For 2020, we will strengthen our channel activities by keeping even closer contact with are channel partners. This is another reason why the DISTREE EMEA 2020 is going to be very beneficial for us.

[CE] What else should distributors attending DISTREE EMEA 2020 know about your company and your products and/or solutions?

[CA] Verbatim was founded in 1969 – this year we are celebrating our 50 year anniversary – and over this time we have proven to be a very reliable and flexible company. We have reinvented ourselves many times with changes in technology, and have also operated in different areas such as LED lighting and water filtration. However, it’s the storage business that is our dominant area and we will continue to be a powerful supplier in this category, selling our full range of optical media, HDD, SSD, USB and flash memory card products.