Geoff Masters, Numara Software vice president APAC sales, says the company may end up with several software as a service backbones in New Zealand. Two are currently under evaluation. At least one will be white label, providing ‘purely infrastructure’ which resellers will be able to onsell.
"Our partners will be able to sell our cloud offering just like they do perpetual licenses, and receive an on-going percentage,” Masters says.
The services management and PC lifecycle management software company already has hosting facilities in the US, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
"We’ve taken the approach that we need to be regionally based. In New Zealand there are a number of customers and sectors who would love to take advantage of cloud but who have not been able to because having data offshore breaches licenses or is enough of a concern to halt doing so.”
Among the sectors affected is banking, with credit card information unable to be held offshore, and betting where there are restrictions on where punters information can be stored, Masters says.
"In some cases it’s legislated against, in others it’s just that they are very security conscious. But these organisations see the benefits of cloud, it just falls down at the last bit of where data is stored.”
There will, be some flexibility in Numara’s cloud model, with Masters expecting some government departments to require particular partners to provide private cloud offerings for the software. "And we will listen to that. We’re not going to preclude ourselves from that if they’ve chosen a particular vendor.”
Numara, which bought its ANZ distributor earlier this year, promoted Andy De Raat to country manager in December – both moves Masters says are designed to bring the company closer to its New Zealand partners.
"Direct representation here makes a lot of sense,” he says. "We have got to be close to key markets and New Zealand fits very well.”
Despite the direct representation, Masters is adamant Numara will not sell direct. "We only sell through and with our partners. Our aim is to slowly increase our footprint here but around pre-sales support and technical support to better enable the channel. We will not be direct.”
Masters takes a swipe at competitors, saying many value added resellers in New Zealand have been ‘disenfranchised’ as vendors ‘have come in and gone direct’. "They’re pushing their partners further away, and that has a big impact on [partners] cash flow with payment cycles changing from 30, 60 or 90 day cycles to COD or seven days.
"Most resellers are small to medium businesses themselves and getting an overdraft can be far from easy so there’s a very real impact on these businesses – and it’s a common discussion I’ve had with resellers, that it’s changed their business.
"I’m going to learn from that and try to do the alternate.
"We’re not about to become a bank, but we’re taking a real world view. In a market that is highly competitive, these things start to differentiate and show resellers why they should be a partner of Numara’s rather than our competitors.”