Eight months after signing an agreement to offer software from VMware to its customers, Tech Data has expanded the relationship to include Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions based on VMware’s vSphere and vCloud Hybrid Service technology.
In addition, the Clearwater, Florida, distribution giant said it will soon unveil a new education program designed to help accelerate the cloud businesses of its solution provider customers.
“This is a great opportunity for our customers to provide a cost-effective, business continuity solution to small and medium-sized businesses that need or may have forgone this capability,” said Stacy Nethercoat, vice president of Software and Cloud Services at Tech Data.
Solutions like DRaaS, she said, are particularly attractive to managed service providers and other solution providers who have seen margin erosion in in their basic services businesses.
Speaking with Channel Partners from the TechSelect Partner Conference underway this week in Orlando, Nethercoat said Tech Data has been building out its cloud portfolio for more than two years, first by adding technology building blocks from Cisco, Microsoft, VMware and others, and is now moving into more specific solutions such as DRaaS to help its customers. She said she was particularly excited to add the DRaaS technology from VMware because it is based on “market-leading technology.”
Today, approximately 2,500 Tech Data customers regularly turn to Tech Data for VMware technology. Nethercoat wouldn’t say how many more will flock to its SolutionsStore to get the VMware-based DRaaS solution, but was fully confident that those that do will see their VMware and cloud sales grew appreciably.
To that end, she said Tech Data is preparing a new set of education offerings grouped into a new program designed to help partners accelerate their cloud practices. Due in a mere “few weeks,” Nethercoat said the new education program will provide self-guided learning to partners interested in taking their cloud practices to another level. The goal is to distinguish those that are ready to launch a cloud practice, expand one or maximize the return on one that is reaching maturity.
The new education program is part of what she called “Tech Data’s four-pronged, go-to-market” cloud strategy that revolves around people, vendor partnerships, technology and, of course, partner enablement, including education.
In addition to expanding its relationships with the likes of VMware, and developing new educational enablement programs, Tech Data is also eager to talk about the new investments it has made into its personnel and technology platforms.
Among other things, Nethercoat said that 90 percent of its more than 400 inside sales reps have passed new certification training designed to improve their skills when it comes to recommending and assisting Tech Data solution provider customers. In addition, the company continues to make investments in its StreamOne platform, which powers the SolutionsStore.
Nethercoat said the company’s provisioning and billing system, in particular, is among the finest in the industry and able to help solution providers present their customer a single, unified invoice for much of their cloud purchases.