Tech Data has broken off its TDCloud initiative into a new, separate business unit with more dedicated resources to help solution providers break into the cloud services business, according to the distributor.
TDCloud was launched about a year and a half ago with a sales and educational components to help VARs add cloud-based revenue streams, but it operated under a larger umbrella with resources trained more on specific vendors' products than the cloud as a larger solution, said Stacy Nethercoat, vice president of software and cloud services at Tech Data.
"I'd characterize it as an evolution in our strategy. Now we have dedicated sales and enablement folks to work with our partners and vendors to help accelerate cloud adoption," she said. "This affords us the opportunity to pull together and represent solutions. Tech Data has always been successful at helping partners transition their business to new models or to adopt new technologies. To do that [with cloud], we needed more infrastructure, more investment than we had in the past."
Bharath Natarajan has been appointed director of TDCloud and software services to oversee the new business unit.
"We understand the correlation between on-premise and cloud products. With our model, we can enable those solutions through our platforms, through StreamOne," Natarajan said. "There is a general swell within the end-user community around cloud, and resellers are coming to the table asking for assistance."
StreamOne is Tech Data's software-as-service platform that serves as the foundation for TDCloud, he added. "We have the platform to scale easily, and it allows our resellers to handle cloud transactions easily, and it allows the masses to come and [purchase] cloud," Natarajan said.
Tech Data, based in Clearwater, Fla., has about 50 vendors with solutions available through TDCloud, ranging from large infrastructure players to small cloud-only companies like Intermedia, an email provider that Tech Data recently signed.
"Our pillars of success are to bring in the right solutions and deliver adoption downstream. We're looking for guidance from the reseller," he said. "We want to provide what they are asking for."
The business -- and number of partners -- active in the cloud is minor compared to Tech Data's overall business, but the company felt a separate business unit was necessary to meet expected demand increases in coming years, Nethercoat said.
"It's an investment creating an opportunity to accelerate adoption and work with partners as they transition pieces of their business into the cloud," she said.
Tech Data plans to market the TDCloud unit at future channel events, including its own TechSelect and Channel Link conferences, Nethercoat said.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 7, 2012