For 13-year-old IT provider Ethan Group, vendor credentials have become even more important as it has built its own cloud platform.
Many of Ethan’s gold-level vendors form part of its cloud stack, and company founder Tony Geagea is adamant about ensuring his team is properly trained to manage the different technologies.
"Most of those vendors, if not all, form part of our cloud strategy. We are so serious in making sure we not only have great people managing our cloud environment, but have people who are completely certified. We don’t take it lightly, to the point where if our resources aren’t certified, they cannot play in that domain in our business. We won’t take any risk," says Geagea.
When taking into account the wage bill of highly trained specialists, the cost of certifications runs into the millions for Ethan Group.
"The cost of the training isn’t [millions], but you can’t divorce it from having those really senior types of resources. It is in the fabric of the business, you can’t separate it. They form our goodwill, they help give us credibility to the customer. Our cost of resources, as an expense line in our P&L, would be 60 percent of our running costs each month."
Ethan Group, which turns over around $200 million in revenue and employs 300 staff, has evolved beyond reselling to a managed services model, which requires a different approach to recognition and incentives. Geagea says that some vendors’ programs are still lagging behind the needs of cloud providers that have “taken the leap of faith and built an environment based on their equipment for customers to sit on”.
“To me that is a different league of partnership and it hasn’t been recognised in the market yet. It has with some - such as Cisco, EMC and VCE - but there are others that haven’t really drawn the alignment.”
MVP vendor partnerships
- Cisco Gold Certified Partner
- Dell PartnerDirect Premier
- EMC Gold
- HP Platinum/Gold
- Microsoft Gold
- Symantec Gold
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.