IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Exclusive Networks Rolls Out Everything-as-a-Service Platform in U.S.

Called X-OD, the system is designed to help channel pros meet rising demand for subscription-priced security and infrastructure solutions without spending upfront on products their customers will pay for gradually over time. By Rich Freeman

Exclusive Networks has launched X-OD, its subscription-based distribution platform for cybersecurity and infrastructure solutions, in the U.S.

Introduced first in Europe last October, X-OD (which stands for “Exclusive Networks on Demand”) is designed to help channel pros meet rising demand for “everything-as-a-service” solutions paid for on a recurring basis as operating expenses, rather than one-time capital expenses.

“That’s how consumption is happening today,” says Brian Vincik, who became Exclusive’s vice president for North America last month. “People for the most part want subscription services.”

X-OD lets VARs and MSPs embrace that trend without investing in their own online ordering, provisioning, and invoicing technology and without spending upfront on products their customers will pay for gradually over time.

“You can align the way you buy to the way you sell,” observes Alexandre Remy, director of X-OD.

The system supports flexible combinations of monthly, quarterly, or annual rates and one-, two-, or three-year commitments. Partners can add their own products and services to the platform as well, and then bundle them into as-a-service offerings. A white-label interface lets users support self-serve ordering by end users. Built-in analytics functionality helps identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Exclusive charges resellers no ongoing or onboarding-related fees to use X-OD. “It’s completely free,” Remy says.

For now, Fortinet is the only vendor with products available to U.S. partners on X-OD, but Exclusive is working with additional suppliers to create listings for products not normally sold through subscriptions. 

“This is where we play a role in the value chain to help vendors do their transition [to everything as a service] at their own pace, but at the same time offer partners access to their portfolio as a subscription,” Remy says. Exclusive’s line card includes F5, Nutanix, Palo Alto, and Rubrik, among an extensive list of other hardware and software makers.

Broadline distributors such as D&H, Ingram Micro, SYNNEX, and Tech Data have been introducing everything-as-a-service platforms of their own in recent years. Most of those services, Exclusive notes, focus on PC hardware and cloud-based software rather than security appliances and networking gear.

While some competing platforms let partners collect the full contract value of a subscription sale in advance, Exclusive opted against that model, which typically requires partners and potentially end users to complete paperwork and negotiate financing conditions. “This takes time,” Remy observes. “We decided to remove that complexity out of the sales process.”

As of March, when Exclusive first revealed plans to bring X-OD to the U.S. this year, sales through the platform were growing five times as fast as the company’s overall revenue.

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