Aussie ISV Bench wants to overhaul IT procurement

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Aussie ISV Bench wants to overhaul IT procurement

An Australian-born company is rewriting how customers procure professional IT services, and has partnered with Westcon-Comstor to do it.

Bench is a cloud-based platform that aims to automate the bulk of the IT procurement process by matching suppliers directly with projects.

Partners, whether they’re vendors, distributors or resellers, can create a marketplace in Bench to offer their own professional services and resources to the market. The benefit for the channel is that customers can broadcast their upcoming projects to potential suppliers, while partners can go-to-market by creating specialised teams, or Benches, which buyers can easily search and vet.

Bench founder and CEO Sukhi Bhullar said the platform can facilitate negotiating offers, screening, booking and onboard, speeding up the hiring process.

“We’ve streamlined the lengthy processes that businesses put up with and paired it with an entire market of highly-skilled people, suppliers, partners and contractors ready to go – hiring managers simply broadcast an opportunity on Bench and the platform automatically matches suitable workers, suppliers and/or partners,” said Bhullar.

Bench is still invite only, but because the platform is based on a decentralised network, each marketplace can communicate with each other, though marketplace owners can still place restrictions on who they want to work with. Anyone with a marketplace can also invite their customers to post opportunities.

Bhullar told CRN the decentralised network also gives smaller channel players a leg up on larger players to compete for work. In addition to project matching, the platform also offers a range of features including direct quotes, reporting on track utilisation, revenue, expenditure and performance, and market insights from real-time data.

Bench has already announced partnerships with some well-known names in the Australian channel, including Olympus Technology, Thomas Duryea Logicalis, Dell and NTT. Bench also has its own marketplace with 1500 IT professionals covering cloud, infrastructure, storage, cyber security, deployment, project management, networks, EUC and unified comms.

Bench was founded in 2016, but it wasn’t till April 2019 that the company started working with Westcon-Comstor on a global level. The distie went live with its own Bench marketplace in August this year, who is a customer as well as supplier.

According to Bhullar, Westcon is building its own professional services practice off the back of the Bench partnership. The distie’s marketplace is now live in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, with the UK and Europe set to launch in the next fortnight.

“Our exclusive distributor agreement with Bench aligns with our go-to-market approach to extend partners capabilities and capacity, enabling us to provide greater scale to support our partners and vendors across the globe,” said Westcon APAC executive VP Patrick Aronson.

“Partnering with Bench will allow our partners to have greater involvement in more opportunities, with the full support and backing of Westcon-Comstor and Bench.”

Westcon Australia managing director Phil Cameron added: “The uniqueness of the Bench solution when coupled with our service offerings will be the ability for our partners to scale out by leveraging a global marketplace of technical experts around chosen technologies or industry-leading vendors through Westcon-Comstor. This level of access, and the speed in which partners can utilise these technical capabilities without those resources sitting on their books will be a game-changer.”

Interested parties can sign up to Bench from the company’s website.

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