By Ken Presti, Senior Consultant, Channel Impact
Tech Data Introduces New Solutions and Services
Tech Data Corporation unveiled several new solutions and services, mostly around cloud and vertical markets.
Among the highlights, TDCloud, the company’s provisioning, billing, and marketing engine, has now been extended to global availability. The Tech Data Cloud Solutions Store will now be available to partners in Canada, France and the UK, and will be introduced across Europe in a phased introduction over the coming weeks. Through the Solutions Store, solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs) can administer and control the entire cloud services delivery process in an app store-like environment, as well as fully support Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program.
In addition, the Microsoft Surface Hub, a team collaboration device, is being made available in the United States and Europe. The system functions as a complete, cloud-connected Windows 10 device with a custom interface intended to better support multiple verticals, and to provide more inclusive environment for remote participants.
Tech Data’s dedicated Cisco team is offering enhanced value-added services and capabilities to its Unified Computing Systems (UCS), including increased systems engineering support, quicker route-to-market, and pre-integrated and customizable BTO configurations. As a recognized Cisco-authorized distributor for the Dynamic (shiploadable) rack, Tech Data’s expanded BTO capabilities allow the company to integrate complete infrastructure solutions prior to shipping—including rack, stack and cable.
All three of these announcements are designed to add value for channel partners seeking to leverage technology spaces that are critical to their success.
Unitrends Moves to a 100% Channel Sales Model
Unitrends, a Burlington, Mass.-based business recovery vendor, has announced that the company has implemented a 100% channel-driven go-to-market strategy, and intends to make major investments in its channel strategy and related initiatives.
“The impetus behind our decision to move exclusively to a channel sales model was simple: we no longer wanted to compete with our partners,” said Kevin Weiss, Unitrends’ president and chief executive officer. “We are now solely focused on nurturing these relationships and forging new ones to build a world-class sales force comprised of brand ambassadors across multiple functional areas at partner organizations.”
The company, which intends to unveil a new channel program during Q3 of this year, recently hired Mike Dalton as its new senior vice president of worldwide channels and international field operations. Dalton, who is tasked with setting the strategic direction of Unitrends’ channel program and driving its expansion, is working in concert with the executive team to roll out the company’s new channel sales model.
Once proof of concept is secured, often through direct sales, the next step toward maturity in the IT vendor lifecycle often involves moves such as this one. Despite phenomena like the cloud and managed services, vendors are often well served by adopting a fully indirect model so as not to compete with their channel partners at the same time that those partners are helping the vendor to reduce cost of sales by adding feet-on-the-street to the equation.
Pure Storage Adds New Support for Microsoft, Citrix; Adds New Partner Tier
Mountain View, Calif.-based Pure Storage announced enhancements to its FlashStack Converged Infrastructure (CI) offering, and also unveiled corresponding upgrades to its P3 Partner Program.
FlashStack CI now offers the Pure Storage FlashArray product family with Microsoft SQL Server and Citrix XenDesktop adding to previously published configurations for Cisco UCS Blade Servers, Cisco Nexus switches, VMware vSphere 5 and VMware Horizon 6.
“Since the launch of FlashStack CI in December 2014, the response from our channel and customer base about our CI solutions has been resoundingly positive,” said Michael Sotnick, vice president of global channels and alliances at Pure Storage. “By introducing Microsoft SQL Server and Citrix XenDesktop configurations, FlashStack CI equips our customers and partners with the performance, simplicity, high-availability and reliability they need to increase revenue opportunities and lead their perspective markets.”
The new FlashStack CI Partner Accreditation is designed to establish proper competency in the solution. Customers may elect to receive support either from a FlashStack Authorized Support Partner or directly from the infrastructure vendors at the core of FlashStack CI: Pure Storage, VMware and Cisco.
This is a strategy that supports growth of the Pure Storage partner network while at the same time leveraging the channels of larger, more established technology vendors. The result will likely be a larger sales footprint than Pure Storage would have been able to achieve independently.