Dicker Data has launched a dedicated Microsoft Cloud business unit to drive greater revenue from the software giant’s offerings.
The new unit is led by Sarah Loiterton who has worked in the Dicker Data Microsoft and Citrix sales teams for the past four and a half years.
Loiterton told CRN that the new division was designed to strengthen the Microsoft brand name within the distributor’s partner community through visibility to really drive alliances and collaboration with other vendors where it makes sense.
“Azure is absolutely our number one solution for growth,” she said. “[Also] security, data centre migration, and transformation are really critical and top of mind for both us and as an organization, and for our partners and how they're addressing their customer journey.”
“There are many features and aspects of [the Microsoft] portfolio that partners aren't even considering or taking to their customers, so there's actually a key piece there.” Loiterton said.
The new business unit has launched with 29 dedicated staff across sales, training and support roles.
As part of the new business unit, the company will also be launching a Partner-to-Partner Portal which Loiterton said was designed to drive collaboration within Dicker’s reseller partners.
Due to the relatively high technical barrier to entry for some Microsoft solutions, Loiterton said many partners were not considering certain customer opportunities.
“We don't want our partners walking away from opportunity, they're on the table for them right now. So if we can facilitate an introduction with another partner that has a very refined solution that addresses a customer's needs or a vertical.
“The partner to partner portal is intended to bridge that gap and make those introductions.”
“ I think we pivoted in this ecosystem to a more collaborative approach, people understand that they can't be everything to everyone. And so embracing that collaboration and true partners is a strategy that Microsoft is employing themselves as well and encouraging us to communicate and collaborate more.”
The distributor has also introduced a dedicated marketing service for its Microsoft partners called Amplify.
“We have always tried to support partners through marketing campaigns, but what we have found is that some partners are somewhat lost. Some of our smaller partners do not have a dedicated marketing person but they still want to grow.”
“We don't want our partners to lose out and possibility and then and lose those funds are available to them. So we built this program, which is productise marketing solutions that range from health checks through to sophisticated multi channel digital campaigns that can really help support a partner.”
The distributor said that its Microsoft Cloud business was nearing $100m in annual revenue and recording a 25 percent year-on-year growth in 2020.
“The Microsoft Cloud business unit validates the strong dedication to our vendor relationships, the success of our offerings and expertise in cloud technologies,” Dicker Data COO Vlad Mitnovetski said in a statement.
“Dicker Data’s mission is to deliver rapid business value through specialist cloud technology advisory and ongoing partner management services.”
From the Vendor side, Microsoft’s local channel chief Rachel Bondi said in a statement that Dicker Data was “one of our most valued partners with an outstanding reputation for the work it undertakes with channel partners around Australia as they digitally transform, embrace cloud computing and establish the operational foundations that will allow them to grow and thrive”.
“Microsoft is delighted by this decision to form a dedicated Microsoft Cloud Division with Sarah at the helm. Sarah is a highly respected and accomplished leader and I congratulate her on this appointment - she will take cloud in SMB to the next level, driving success for our partners and customers."