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CRN Exclusive: Partners Applaud D&H’s New Push Into Cloud Services

D&H launches self-service portal to assist SMB solution providers in buying, managing and providing cloud-based services

D&H Distributing is going full force into the cloud with a web portal that provides partners access to recurring revenue-generating cloud services.

Partners said D&H's new Cloud Marketplace portal, available from the company's website, will be key as they transform into cloud-based strategic service providers.

’The technology landscape is changing underneath us all very quickly; it is a space that we all need to be in. We all need to be able to sell hosted services one way or another,’ said Stephen Brooks, president and CEO of Penn Systems Group, a Newtown Square, Penn.-based D&H partner.

[Related: D&H Invests $23M To Extend Credit Lines For Its Reseller Partners ]

Brooks said getting assistance with sizing and provisioning in the cloud will be critical to the success of small business solution providers.

’I think that is where the real opportunity lies for the distys [distributors], because they have the financial resources to build out a team of folks that can help with that provisioning,’ he said.

Peter DiMarco, D&H’s vice president of VAR sales, said partners are able to change and manage their purchases on a monthly basis through the portal, allowing them to provision services electronically, enabling them to be more flexible and offer a wider range of scalable services in the cloud.

’It gives the VAR or MSP the ability to review, assess and build solutions around a growing catalog of cloud services,’ he said.

’This is a huge step,’ said James Hoff, President of Bellevue, Wash.-based D&H partner ACE Internet Services Inc., adding that working with D&H to access cloud services has been a game-changer for him.

As a one-man shop, Hoff said he has been a long-time Microsoft partner but never felt like he was treated with the same priority as some of the ’bigger fish.’ However, he added, since he started working with D&H to get the tech, the distributor has focused on him and been a strong partner.

’The number one thing is that I now know that I have a partner that is going to be there, helping me provision what I need, and supporting me,’ Hoff told CRN.

The portal works on a self-service model and currently includes a migration support product for Microsoft Office 365 from Kirkland, Wash,-based BitTitan, and implementation, migration and 24/7 post-sales support solutions for Office 365 from Lowell, Mass.-based Plumchoice.

Moving forward, however, DiMarco added that D&H would soon be adding more products and services to the portal, looking to quickly expand the number of available products to include monitoring, management, hosted voice and security solutions for MSPs.

D&H is also building up its ability to assist partners with storage management and is aiming to launch its first infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering in 2017, according to an email from a D&H representative to CRN.

Currently, the portal is backed by a consultative support program tailored to the needs of resellers in the SMB sector. It includes migration services provided in conjunction with BitTitan.

Resellers will have access to D&H’s in-house cloud solution specialists, and the distributor will host ongoing educational opportunities at its trade events and via its Solutions Lab training portal. The company also offers a customizable Partner Services Marketing brochure on hosted services, available at no charge through its online marketing resource library, which resellers can leverage to help increase demand from small businesses.

The portal, however, is one of a number of support offerings that D&H has developed for its mostly SMB reseller customer base in during the 2016 fiscal year. Other offerings include a new K-12 advisory group, webcast training, credit line increases for over 850 partners and a new SMB ’blueprints’ program, which helps partners deliver wireless connectivity and hosted services.

These additions, according to a statement form the company, have contributed to a rise in D&H’s customer base of close to eight percent in the past quarter.

’It is all about helping partners sell solutions and grow their business,’ DiMarco said.

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