Distribution Central has thrown down the gauntlet to its local rivals with a new cloud solution it claims will make it easier, cheaper and faster for A/NZ resellers to deliver cloud-based solutions to their customers.
And DC also expects the new offering to make it money, with managing director Nick Verykios predicting a potential 10 percent jump in annual revenues, reported recently at $250 million as the company celebrated its 10th birthday.
To date, the company has invested around $1 million in developing DC CloudSelect, which enables systems integrators and service providers to actually build clouds or access ‘cloud-ready’ solutions which the company is calling cloud PODs (products-on-demand). The latter includes a hybrid cloud solution integrating NetApp Private Storage and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect, hosted in Equinix’s data centre facilities. A further investment of $1 million is expected this year.
DC CloudSelect will be headed by Harris Loefti, DC’s head of cloud for APAC, who joins the company after six years in charge of Symantec’s cloud services and MSP business in Asia.
“CloudSelect condenses and simplifies the transactional process into one billing method for resellers so they resell solutions,” Loefti said.
DC managing director, Nick Verykios said while the concept of bureau / cloud computing has been around for more than 20 years, the company recognised the need to come to market with a suite of solutions that removed the complexity for partners while ensuring their ability to own the customer through a white-label model.
“We have collaborated with all entities involved in delivering this solution to offer our partners a single aggregation point for configuration, transaction processing, support and optimised delivery,” he explained.
“Any DC reseller partner or system integrator that wants to deliver cloud solutions to their customer base can utilise our cloud configurator and services to enable them in delivering their own cloud service.”
The model is designed to give partners more flexibility in combing aspects of public and private cloud solutions, or a hybrid approach to addressing individual customer requirements. The StormCloud configurator allows partners to access cloud-enabled solutions under one purchase order and with monthly billing through DC.
“The cloud needs to be thought of as ‘as well as’, not ‘instead of’,” Verykios noted, adding that for many systems integrators it’s fair to say the return on investment (ROI) is far from clear in the cloud.
For those companies that demand 24/7, 365 days a year access to applications, the cloud is still not the ideal solution, he said.
However for companies dabbling with “incidental applications the ROI is definitely there now”.
Verykios conceded, however, the sorts of new challenges emerging for businesses today highlighted the scope for new solutions, in which the cloud would likely play a key role, beyond the 120 or so ‘as a service’ types currently being spruiked to market. These include concepts such as data sovereignty and protection which DC expects will become even more front of mind for businesses moving forward.
Whether intentionally or not, Verykios noted, most technology companies are contributing to the building of cloud environments today. And for resellers, their opportunity lies in shrugging off the mantle of ‘trusted’ advisors, to simply be ‘advisors’ focussed on real problem solving.
“We’re all building the cloud, whether we like it or not.”