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Tech Data Offers Company-As-A-Service To MSPs

“We’re a bank. We’re a logistics company, but now we’re a solutions company,” Marty Bauerlein, the company’s senior vice president of U.S. sales, tells CRN.

Now more than ever, Tech Data Corp. is a solution provider to solution providers, Marty Bauerlein, the company’s senior vice president of U.S. sales said.

“We’re a bank. We’re a logistics company, but now we’re a solutions company,” he told CRN. “We’re going to keep pressing that in market. We’re going to keep putting our money where our mouth is. We’re laying the dollars out and we’re making big investments into our customer communities. This isn’t a head fake.”

This week, the company announced three new solution programs at its Tech Select partner conference in San Antonio, which is part of the company’s overall push to help MSPs make bigger transitions, Bauerlein said. Whether it’s in cloud, security, or scalablity, Tech Data wants to be the MSP’s go-to for answers.

“We go in and do a workshop with a VAR and pretty much identify and take them through a methodology and do a SWOT analysis on their business, identify where they have strengths, weaknesses,” Bauerlein said. “We do a partner profile, and we take them through what its going to take to build a practice.”

He said some companies that sign up for Practice Builder thank them and walk away after the initial eight-hour assessment. But for those that stick around, he said, Tech Data provides some of the best consultants in the business to help them reach their targets.

“We sign an MOU together and do a three to six month practice building,” Bauerlein said. “It’s weekly engagements sometimes it’s on-site, sometimes through video conferencing, and basically we act like a McKinsey or a Bain and we are in their grill holding them accountable to what we said we were going to do, and what they need to do to go to build that practice. “

The Practice Builder program has been running for about a year now, he said, but in truth the company started planning it two years ago, by recruiting experts, putting together teams, carrying out research and building a methodology around helping partners grow their business.

“What we’ve seen out of this is more customer loyalty,” Bauerlein said. “Not just around that specific technology architecture, but in general, getting more share of wallet with those solution providers. That’s the new and improved practice builder. We’ve invested millions of dollars in skills and capabilities. Not only do we have the digital tools, helping our customers transform digitally, we have people assigned to it.”

He said the effort is paying off. The company recently completed a practice builder program with an enterprise-level VAR, which then moved “$100 million in spend” to Tech Data.

“We measure, maniacally,’ Bauerlein said. “So we’re looking at our customers and saying, ‘OK, is it helping us with our overall share of wallet?’ Because if we’re adding value in one area, it could have us get drag in the other business as well. So we’re definitely seeing that… Here’s the deal. The juice has to be worth the squeeze.”

In addition to boosting its Practice Builder program, Tech Data unveiled two Cisco-based products aimed at simplifying the digital demands of customers in the health care vertical as well as those customers who have several branch locations within their business.

Branch Interconnect and Clinic Interconnect, are separate cloud-managed digital transformation solutions that deliver simplicity at scale through a single-provider, single-interface, single-invoice managed service for branch industries, Tech Data said.

Then on Wednesday, the company announced its new Tech-as-a-Service for Advanced Solutions which allows partners and end users to bundle data center hardware, software and services into a consumption-based pricing model in which end users pay only according to the resources used. This program frees the hybrid model from big up-front expenses by allowing customers to have private, dedicated hardware either on-premises or in a co-location and pay for it as if they were in the public cloud, the company said.

The company is now also offering their Cloud Practice Builder program to partners via an online portal.

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