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Exclusive: Distribution Central to offer resellers third pathway to market

Distribution Central is set to relaunch its DC CloudSelect platform as a marketplace as a ‘third pathway to market’ for resellers.

Distribution Central currently has around 300 offerings from 16 vendors for the marketplace, which is set to launch in mid-April. That number is expected to grow as the distributor nears launch date.

The ability to provision professional services will also be available.

Nick Verykios, Distribution Central managing director, says the new DC CloudSelect marketplace will have one ‘big, big, big difference’ from a simple marketplace of cloud offerings.

“It will have the ability to orchestrate, or provision, infrastructure and offerings from a single pane of glass,” Verykios says.

“Resellers wanting to get into the cloud business, will be able to manage the customer’s whole implementation from this platform.

“It is a management platform for resellers. They will be able to work out what to put together in terms of a solution for a customer, which could include multiple products, price it up and turn it on.”

The system will also handle billing for resellers, removing a key obstacle for many resellers for whom subscription billing may prove difficult.

Offerings available from launch day will include infrastructure-, virtual desktop-, platform-, disaster recovery-, data warehouse-, and email and filtering-as-a-service.

“We’ll also have data centre services and network services available and they are proper professional services, so we’re brokering not just products and licenses, but services as well.”

Verykios says the services layer addresses ‘one of the biggest problems’ for resellers, who may not be able to provide it themselves. Services will be added at the resellers discretion.

“It’s purely to augment the offerings, if resellers needs it,” Verykios says.

He says resellers remain the prime contractor.

The third pathway

Verykios says resellers currently have three different pathways to market – traditional resale, service provider, and metred, or true, cloud – and all three remain valid.

“There’s the traditional business selling products and services to their customers as a capital expense or, in the case of leasing as operating expense.

“And that’s a growing market – we’re seeing growth of 11.8% year-on-year, and the product range hasn’t changed,” Verykios says.

He says Distribution Central will continue to invest in its DC Control Systems, or configuration engines, and partner relationships, in order to develop this pathway to market.

Pathway two, he says, is the traditional service provider market, as seen for about nine years.

“This is where they bundle a whole bunch of offerings and take it off the customer’s balance sheet to opex.

“It’s in the reseller’s balance sheet or the reseller’s leasing agent’s balance sheet, creating a managed service.”

Verykios says while many of the services are referred to as cloud, they’re not because they are not metred.

“A service is supplied for a monthly cost and billed over a four or five year contract.”

He says there is a ‘very, very different set of operational efficiencies, financial efficiencies and a different set of technologies’ required for that market.

It’s also a market many vendors, including Sophos, Palo Alto, Aruba, Avaya, NetApp, Extreme, SimpliVity and Pure, have tailored product to.

Verykios says that pathway to market is also a substantial part of Distribution Central’s business, providing 32% of the company’s ANZ revenue.

“And it’s doubling year to year.”

The third pathway, where Distribution Central is targeting its DC CloudSelect as a key player, is what Verykios calls the metred use market.

“We don’t want to call it cloud, because cloud can mean so many things and can include the first two [pathways].

“With metred use you can turn it on and turn it off, spin it up and spin it down. It’s about buying on consumption, most often infrastructure and compute, but more and more and more, we’re seeing applications as well – the software-as-a-service side.

“We’re coming in with something pretty special,” Verykios says of the new DC CloudSelect platform.

But, more than that, Verykios says his message to resellers is not to lose faith in what they do – or feel they have to make a massive instant transition to a cloud model in order to survive.

“Whether you’re born in the cloud, or an old school system integrator, network integrator, solution provider, whatever you want to call it, you need to go find out your customers’ problems and find a solution that will solve them.

“And anyone who says every customer problem can be solved by one of those three pathways alone is irresponsible. Two maybe, but three is even better.

“We’re providing three alternative pathways you can take as an option for customers.”