D&H has rolled out an all-new cloud marketplace designed to help its partners create and sell subscription-priced solutions combining software, hardware, and services.
Previewed to ChannelPro in March and launched last week, the new system is part of a larger campaign on D&H’s part to help traditional VARs meet burgeoning demand for “everything-as-a-service” (XaaS) purchasing options.
“We’ve got aspirations to really help our customers continue to transform into the ‘X’-as-a-service model,” says Jason Bystrak, D&H’s vice president of cloud. “This platform is really a catalyst to help our partners sell ‘X’ as a service and get more into the recurring revenue market.”
Core to that effort are pre-assembled product and service bundles called “cloud clusters” that layer complementary applications in categories like security, BDR, and storage on top of foundational technologies such as Microsoft Office 365. Partners can then add in their own device management, help desk, and other managed services to form end-to-end solutions, and price those packages at whatever monthly rate they wish. D&H’s cloud platform handles the end user billing on a white-label basis automatically.
Users can resell offerings as is from a menu of pre-defined clusters, customize those clusters, or create their own. “You can actually go and create your own SKUs,” Bystrak says.
In addition to Microsoft, vendors available through the new marketplace include Axcient, BitTitan, Carbonite, Dropbox, Dropsuite, ESET, Intermedia, PlumChoice, Sophos, and Webroot.
Functionality that will allow partners to include PCs, servers, and other hardware in clusters is due within the next month. That element of the platform will draw on the device-as-a-service financing program that D&H introduced a little over a year ago.
“We’ll take care of getting the customer approved and handle the monthly financing of the hardware portion of that, so it stays in a monthly subscription,” Bystrak says.
Partners can also sell clusters directly to their clients through the new platform, which includes custom-branded, self-serve ordering functionality. The system lets resellers create multiple product catalogs as well, and then pick and choose which one a specific client sees when browsing the site. “Literally, an MSP could have just one catalog for all of their customers or a different one for each customer if they want,” Bystrak notes, adding that catalogs dedicated to specific vertical industries, use cases, and sales promotions are an option as well.
To help users manage billing for cloud solutions more easily, the new marketplace integrates directly with PSA systems from ConnectWise and Datto’s Autotask unit. “It basically aligns our invoices right into your agreements for your managed services clients in the PSA tool,” says Bystrak of that functionality.
D&H has no plans at present to extend that support to PSA products from Kaseya, SolarWinds MSP, and other vendors. “We’ll consider others as we see demand, but I think we’ve covered the bulk of the market share when it comes to PSA with those two partners,” Bystrak says.
The new D&H marketplace is based on marketplace technology from ALSO Holding AG, a European distributor with a Microsoft-oriented cloud line card much like D&H’s own. The company has recently begun licensing its software, which it originally developed for its own use, to select partners in geographies it has no intention of competing in. D&H has exclusive rights to the platform in North America.