|TDCloud at Channel Link|
Tech Data is making an appeal to solution providers looking to become cloud businesses, emphasizing its ability via its TDCloud business to package and "normalize" the various components making up a cloud offering in a way smaller partners cannot do.
That ability was evident in Tech Data's Wednesday unveiling of a partnership with Collab9 to bring the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) to solution providers.
That followed a move earlier this month by Tech Data to start offering VMware vCloud hybrid cloud service to its partners.
However, Tech Data has in fact been working on bringing such cloud services ever since Tech Data's TDCloud business unit was formed nearly two years ago, said Bharath Natarajan, director of TDCloud and software services for the distributor.
Tech Data's TDCloud services makes cloud services from multiple vendors accessible to solution providers by taking out the complexity of dealing with all those vendors, Natarajan told CRN at the Tech Data Channel Link conference, held this week in Anaheim, Calif.
"We help reduce complexity," he said. "No one wants relationships with 60 to 70 different providers. You'd be managing invoices all day. Instead, we bring in the right complete solution."
For example, Natarajan said, when it comes to billing, some vendors offer all-you-can-consume pricing, while some bill on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
"We normalize the expenses like no one else does," he said. "We can take the complexity out of the billing while building multivendor solutions and wrapping them together. Then, on the eighth day of every month, we send a single bill to partners for everything."
That's the kind of thing Lee Bird, president of Btech, a Pasadena, Calif.-based provider of cloud services including storage and managed security, came to the Tech Data Channel Link conference to hear.
Btech has been doing managed services using infrastructure it provides customers via Hewlett-Packard hardware, but it is starting to move toward the cloud for those services, Bird said.
"So far, I've been most intrigued with VMware's hybrid cloud solution," Bird said. "A lot of our customers have virtual machines in their data centers, and often want to put them somewhere else, including the cloud. We can order that from Tech Data as an SKU. It's pretty cool that you can order the cloud as an SKU."
Tech Data's packaging of cloud solutions lets the distributor bring together the different components needed to make a complete solution that is then available for solution providers' immediate use, Tech Data's Natarajan said.
"Things are changing so quickly," he said. "In two months, there could be a completely new solution coming."
Working with a distributor like Tech Data ensures bringing software services, marketing services, financial services and consulting to partners, Natarajan said.
"We bring breadth to the market," he said. "We're not creating a new market. But when the cloud gets accepted, we come in and add breadth."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 20, 2013