News in the Channel - Issue #6



degree of ‘stand out’ quality is important. “Secondly, there are financial considerations. While many start-up tech firms have offered subscription model solutions since day one, it is comparatively much harder for existing resellers to transition to a full ‘as a Service’ offering — particularly from a cashflow point of view. “If a firm is used to selling hardware on a lease, for example, with a defined upfront payment, that’s cash in the business on day one. So, while the recurring revenue benefits of ‘as a Service’ contracts are plentiful long- term, it could create some shorter-term financial pressures.” Anything as a service ‘As a Service’ models are now becoming widespread across the sector for difference niches. For instance, for Vapour, ‘Firewalls as a Service’, or managed firewalls, are a hot topic now. “That’s come from multiple conversations with clients, where we know this would ease security, performance, productivity, agility and financial pressures within their organisations — almost irrespective of sector,” Tim says. Markus Rex, head of SYNAXON Managed Services, notes that XaaS – everything as a service – offerings are already popular. “That is only going to increase,” he says. “The benefits are well understood, and we certainly see excellent potential for growth with our managed backup, antivirus, endpoint security and remote monitoring and management services. We’re also seeing more interest in our Managed Workplace device-as-a-service offering. “We offer these as standardised, ready-to- deploy services, with all support provided by our own experts on behalf of the partner. That makes it extremely simple for reseller partners to enter the XaaS market and offer consistent, tried and tested services to their customers. “It’s a zero-risk way to enter the managed services market as they don’t have to make any up-front investment and find or retain skilled staff. That’s an important advantage because the skills shortage is probably the biggest challenge that managed services providers are facing right now.” STaaS growth Another as a service product that is gaining popularity is storage as a service (STaaS), according to JT Lewis, director of channel sales, EMEA and APJ at Infinidat. “STaaS has been around for a while, but not all resellers may be aware that it exists

– STaaS really plays into enterprises’ current strategic priorities,” he says. “The outlook for STaaS is very positive for resellers considering a new model. Three trends are converging here – data volumes are growing at exponential rates, enterprises need to find ways to reduce costs to manage in the economic environment and cloud hosting continues to grow in popularity – so STaaS is well worth adding to a reseller’s business service portfolio. “STaaS is a flexible, cloud-like consumption model whereby the users only pay for the storage capacity needed – exactly what many IT buyers are looking for. “Offering enterprise customers the chance to switch to STaaS is a powerful strategy to lower costs, without sacrificing availability, reliability, cyber storage resilience and application performance. From Infinidat’s experience working with resellers, offering STaaS improves client retention rates and attracts new customers keen to try out new, low cost and low risk storage. For the reseller, the many different STaaS business models available now from storage vendors make it a lucrative addition to their service mix, with the chance to secure valuable recurring revenues. “To offer STaaS, resellers would typically need to have a robust infrastructure for data storage, such as a data centre or a cloud platform. They also need to have the necessary expertise in managing and securing data to ensure that their customers’ data is safe and accessible.” Future The trend for ‘as a Service’ options is likely to continue to grow in the coming years, with even more options coming into the market, according to Tim. “But the market is becoming very ‘busy’ with seemingly endless ‘XaaS’ offerings, which is why I think the next notable shift will be a move to ‘wrapped’ or bundled solutions that include more commodity-like products, such as lease lines, included for free.” Tim adds that, as competing on price alone is risky, we will see expertise-rich resellers differentiate themselves according to the level of added value they can offer. “For example, we deliver our consultancy expertise as standard on so many of our customer projects, because we feel so ingrained and invested in their businesses. This is something that many other resellers can’t touch. Tech players need to think carefully about where their ‘as a Service’ proposition(s) will benefit them and customers alike.”

Markus Rex head, managed services

JT Lewis director, channel sales EMA and APJ


Powered by