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D&H’s Cloud And Services Business Unit Sees 100-Plus Percent Revenue Growth

The distributor’s Success Path to Cloud program has been key to the unit’s growth over the past year, providing resources such as training and tools and helping partners leverage managed services to profitably launch, optimize and maximize a cloud practice, says D&H’s Jason Bystrak.

D&H Distributing’s Cloud and Services Business Unit has seen more than 100 percent revenue growth in the past year as it helps partners transition to an as-a-service model to grow their business and capture the whole market.

The distributor’s Success Path to Cloud program has been key to the unit’s growth. The program provides resources such as training and tools, helping partners leverage managed services to profitably launch, optimize and maximize a cloud practice while providing additional value to their business customers. This helps channel partners expand their core competencies and migrate to a managed services model.

Jason Bystrak (pictured), vice president of the Cloud and Services Business Unit for D&H, said the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor developed a five-pillar strategy to drive cloud business. The five pillars are people, program, product, platform and payment model.

“The first was that we hired a team,” Bystrak told CRN. “Believe it or not, you’ve got to have great people; it’s key to everything. We have a cross-functional team that helps partners with everything from technical to marketing, to sales, etc.”

The Success Path to Cloud program helps enable partners to build a cloud practice. And with an eye toward helping partners build a unified communications practice, D&H has also rolled out a Success Path to Unified Communications program. Both programs are aimed at helping partners leverage a managed services model to grow their business.

“Historically, the channel I think was emerging from a VAR business model into a managed services model and then to a cloud model,” he said. “A lot of partners in that ecosystem had not even built a managed services model so they weren’t prepared to handle things like recurring revenue, billing, post-sales support, the financial changes and the way that things are sold in a contractual as-a-service model.”

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D&H has been a Microsoft partner for years, but to expand on that partnership, the distributor had to bring on an ecosystem of complementary vendors to wrap around Microsoft to start to help partners generate more profit and add more value so that they can sell more Microsoft solutions. Similar strategies are executed with other vendors, including ConnectWise.

“The fourth ‘P’ that we’re focused on would be our platform,” he said. “You have to make it easy to operationalize. With the cloud business, you need a platform that can handle multivendor purchasing, provisioning, subscription management and invoicing. Sounds easy, but it’s really a lot of APIs that integrate all these different vendors to help pull that all together to a single pane of glass.”

D&H handles the whole operational aspect around cloud and then pushes its invoices into products like ConnectWise or other MSP tools.

D&H also offers X as a Service, or Everything as a Service, which plays into the payment model.

“A lot of partners got their start selling hardware,” he said. “What we do is we take that hardware, especially endpoint devices like laptops and desktops, and we help them integrate cloud, software and their own services and we can complement those services into a single subscription.

“Our partners and our vendors get a transaction because we sell that new laptop, but the end user just continues to get that same payment model,” he added.

Aaron Ferraiuolo, president of UpTime Sciences, a D&H partner based in Eugene, Ore., said the Success Path to Cloud program has helped his company tremendously.

“The resources and support we’ve gotten through D&H’s Cloud Services [Business Unit] has allowed us to accelerate our move towards a services-based consumption model, which has a long list of benefits for us as an MSP organization,” said Ferraiuolo. “It’s easier to be confident about building a profitable cloud practice when we can leverage support and tools from a trusted partner.”

In 2022, D&H will work to evolve its Cloud Services Business Unit and expects to see another year of triple-digit growth.

“If you think about what’s happening with all the technology vendors, they’re increasingly rolling out as-a-service models, cloud models and consumption-based models,” Bystrak said. “We’ve built unique capabilities with those five pillars and we’re now finding that that’s very valuable to these vendors as they evolve. We’re reaching across and breaking down business unit walls in D&H to bring those vendors into the work that we do with our team and helping them operationalize and the drive to go to market for those types of consumption-based and cloud-based solutions.”

And as many move to a hybrid cloud model, he believes there will also be a move to modern solutions in a modern infrastructure.

“We’re helping our partners combine, for example, Hewlett Packard Enterprise data center solutions with Microsoft Azure, to offer that hybrid model,” he said. “We’ve got the technology to bring those two things together and the platforms to support it.”

 

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