Hailing from across the Tasman, Kiwi-owned Datacom is among the most highly accredited IT solution providers in Australia, with one of the broadest sweeps of gold-level partnerships among this year’s CRN MVPs.
It may call Wellington home, but Australia is a major centre for Datacom; chief executive Jonathan Ladd is even based in Sydney.
Just because it has a bevy of vendor relationships, Datacom is still highly strategic in its choice of partners, says Peter Stein, general manager of licensing, Datacom Australia and Asia. "Datacom have APAC, national, state and, in most cases, client-based strategic vendors."
Datacom partners with vendors to solve specific customer problems, he says. "Some of these challenges are client-specific, others can be vertically-based, such as public sector, education or health, and others again may be geographically important.
"It all depends on the solution Datacom are delivering to the client. The more Datacom can scale solutions, the more important the partnership becomes with the vendors that form part of the solution."
Stein agrees with the ethos of the CRN MVP program – looking at partner accreditations as both a reflection of the vendor relationships but more importantly showing what an IT provider can do for its customers. "Clients like to see that you have certification for vendors. We need to validate we have the skills to deliver the custom solutions we build for our clients and sufficient up-to-the-minute knowledge to provide the best guidance and delivery."
One key partner is Microsoft, which was a foundation vendor for the 50-year-old New Zealand company's entry into Australia. "Datacom have long-term affiliations with all the core vendors [in the 2015 CRN MVP list], but we also have partner status with many other vendors integral to delivering a solution to our clients. Datacom have vendors approach us daily to look at integrating their technology into our client solutions," says Stein.
While Datacom is not in Amazon Web Services' top partner tier (AWS has only two Australian Premier consulting partners, Bulletproof and Melbourne IT), it is the cloud giant's top partner among this year's CRN MVPs, holding the coveted Managed Services competency.
Attaining and retaining so many vendor credentials is an expensive endeavour for Datacom. "It is definitely an investment in time, resources and financially," he says, adding that not all programs are worth the investment.
"Each vendor's program is different but it is worth creating a learning path for our team and investing in our people. Some vendor programs have extended requirements around proof of knowledge, proof of execution and references that are a drain on people's time for little outcome to the client or the reseller partner."
MVP vendor partnerships
- Cisco Gold Certified Partner
- Citrix Solution Advisor Platinum
- Dell PartnerDirect Premier
- HP Platinum/Gold
- IBM Premier Business Partner
- Lenovo Diamond
- Microsoft Gold
- Symantec Gold
- VMware Premier
Notes on methodology
The CRN MVP program recognises Australia's top IT providers by measuring their value and versatility based on third-party vendor accreditations across 12 eligible vendors: Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Citrix Systems, Dell, EMC, HP (incl Aruba), IBM, Intel (incl McAfee), Lenovo, Microsoft, Symantec and VMware.
Only eligible vendors listed above. Only Gold-equivalent partner levels are included. CRN MVP companies may have accreditations with other, ineligible vendor programs or lower-level accreditations with eligible vendors (for example, we do not list silver accreditations).
We expect the list of eligible vendors to change in coming years, which may open up the CRN MVP program to new entrants.
For further information on the CRN MVP program, see this article.
We are currently accepting expressions of interest for the 2016 CRN MVPs at www.crn.com.au/MVP. Entries will open in coming months.