According to Bystrak, the ALSO system’s “Amazon-like” interface makes it easier for partners to learn and use than the cloud marketplace it replaces. “It’s going to be just a much quicker learning curve,” he says. “They don’t have to go through all sorts of training and tutorials to learn to use it.”
Partnering with ALSO is advantageous for D&H’s vendor partners as well, Bystrak emphasizes. Software makers who wish to can take advantage of the common underlying foundation linking D&H’s marketplace with ALSO’s to expand into Europe and other overseas markets more easily.
A typical cloud cluster, Bystrak says, might combine a laptop with Office 365, and file sync and share software from Dropbox. D&H’s DaaS program would add product support, warranty, and end-of-life replacement services for the hardware, and partners could incorporate their own services as well.
A specific cluster available through the system will add a Dropbox subscription to a NAS device from Buffalo Americas, allowing businesses to replicate all of their on-premises data to the local storage array, and from there to the cloud for remote access.
D&H will confirm in advance that all of the products in its pre-assembled clusters integrate effectively. “We’re being very careful about choosing vendor partners,” Bystrak says. “I want to make sure that the vendors work together and actually form a complete technical solution.”
With customers increasingly looking to buy all of their IT needs through predictable monthly payments, distributors like Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and SYNNEX, as well as hardware vendors like HP Inc., are rapidly introducing as-a-service offerings. Bystrak, a former executive in Ingram’s cloud business unit who joined D&H early this year, says the distributor’s revamped marketplace is a key part of its similar effort to help resellers embrace the XaaS business model.
“I think we’d all agree that end clients are asking to consume more technology in an as-a-service model,” he says. “Some partners that are, I think, more ahead of the curve completely recognize this and are probably doing some things, but we see that they may be struggling with building the right products, handling the refresh cycles, [and] handling the financing. So our programs really help those partners succeed. At the same time, we’re also trying to educate and drive other partners to adopt the model because we believe that’s what their clients are asking for whether they know it or not.”
D&H is currently migrating users of its legacy cloud platform onto the new one, and expects to complete that process by June 23rd. Newcomers to the platform can open accounts immediately.