Room To Grow: How 4 Tech Data Partners Are Making Cloud, Security, IoT, And Services Inroads


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New investments and February's Avnet Technology Solutions acquisition are boosting business for Tech Data partners in cloud, security, IoT and services. Here's how they are making inroads.

Cloud

With Tech Data's help, solution provider RyanTech Cloud Services needed just four months to make its Microsoft Azure practice larger than its Of­ ce 365 practice, which had been the bedrock of its business for years. Kevin McMillen, founder and CEO of Tempe, Ariz.-based RyanTech, said the distributor has excelled at listening to feedback throughout the process.

Tech Data
Kevin McMillen, RyanTech

"They're keen to make those changes that will help our business improve," McMillen said. Tech Data helped RyanTech handle the technical aspects involved in on-boarding new Microsoft Azure customers, McMillen said, while Tech Data's acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions has increased its ability to offer PC management, network monitoring, and software migration services to end customers.

For example, the distributor held more than a dozen meetings to come up with a way to improve its back-end reporting around customer cloud usage. RyanTech in the past would receive three to five invoice PDFs each month covering services procured through Tech Data. That isn't the case any longer, he said.

"The billing practices of Tech Data prior weren't built for big business," McMillen said. "The changes they've made for us have allowed us to operate as a larger business entity, with thousands of invoices going back and forth between the companies in a very liquid fashion."

Now, McMillen said RyanTech has visibility through Microsoft Power BI into which customers are underutilizing specific cloud services. Those customers are targeted with email and phone campaigns with references from existing customers, detailed explanations of features available in other SKUs, and an examination of how their business could bene­ t from these services, McMillen said. "Being a cloud solution provider is an absolute must," McMillen said.

Security

Tech Data's Recon managed security service provides the ability to monitor and understand the correlation of security events as well as directly remediate issues, said Raymond Benoit, president and owner of Tech Data partner RTM Communications.

Tech Data
Raymond Benoit, RTM Communications

"Their job is to stay on top of it every day. My job is to do a dozen other things," Benoit told CRN. "While the worry is not eliminated, we know we have a good standing arm on our side."

Between Recon and CyberShark—which Tech Data said caters to end users with 50 or fewer employees — Benoit said he's pleased that Bedford, N.H.-based RTM can rely on third-party entities solely focused on security to understand the threat landscape and monitor it on the solution provider's behalf.

RTM wants to take advantage of additional security services offered through Tech Data such as complementary and paid assessments as well as managed security information and event management, said Benoit. The distributor excels at customizing its security programs for resellers based on their company size, he said. As a result, Benoit said Tech Data has enabled RTM to provide security through lower-cost, less-complex offerings that appeal to smaller businesses.

RTM has worked with Tech Data for 19 years, and the distributor has educated RTM extensively around business issues such as balance sheet, liquidity and managing the presentation of credit. The distributor also has assigned and guaranteed proceeds for deals larger than the overall size of RTM so that the parties are able to get the agreement done.

"I've never lacked for credit when I had a deal," Benoit said.

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