Dimension Data this month globally streamlined its cloud services under a single brand, and launched a web page for its cloud services.
The company has eliminated its OpSource and BlueFire brands and is now selling all its IaaS offering under the Dimension Data name.
More salient to New Zealand, however, is the website, which marks the first time the company’s global offerings have been publicly marketed here.
The multinational IT giant sells its IaaS directly through the portal, but it is essentially running its own channel programme, the One Cloud Partner Programme.
“You effectively purchase, as a service, the whole infrastructure, sales and marketing collateral and run it locally as a multi-tenanted platform,” says Leigh Jackson, technology manager for Dimension Data. “Which for the New Zealand market that might appeal to some of the larger utility companies.”
The programme which the company rolled out in July and for which it already has reseller customers in New Zealand, is also being marketed for service providers. Jackson pointed to the company OneNet, which offers processing, storage and applications over the internet to its clients on an as-needed or permanent basis.
“There’s lots of room for our clients to pick and mix for exactly what they’re trying to achieve,” says Jackson.
“Certainly when some customers have concern around sovereignty and location of data, they might decide on a One Cloud provider for a production platform and another for their backup solution. We’re already brokering some of the cloud services, such as independent back up, for the likes of OneNet.”
Generally speaking, One Cloud brings a “full enterprise grade cloud service to market” for its customers, so they can take on a whole managed platform to be rebranded elsewhere.
While this isn’t the only model of its kind in New Zealand, or the first, it is an indication of the direction the channel writ large is taking for delivering on-demand, scalable services that can be purchased for short periods of time.
“I think largely this is going to reinforce the hybrid cloud model,” Jackson says. “The test and development systems, that makes sense to me, to leverage a public platform like this. For production systems and such, a customer needs to be asking what is the most cost effective and manageable for you and the outcome to that is smaller businesses will adopt SaaS and some hybrid model, while enterprise businesses will divvy up workloads, with a mix of SaaS and internal systems and testing and development moving to that hybrid cloud model.”
What might have impeded the development of this model, perhaps, is the global financial crisis.
“There’s no doubt that with the GFC people were sweating their assets,” Jackson says. “But I think they’re starting to ease a bit now. Still, we’ve got some way to go to get people to open up their wallets for new ways of doing things.”
Jackson says this gives credence to the evolving role of smaller resellers acting as “cloud brokers” for end user customers.
“If your focus is only going to be tin, then I don’t think there’s an opportunity as a cloud broker,” he says. “But if the reseller is mature and selling services, I think they can step up. You will have those resellers that want to resell software as a service and put it on a public platform and charge an end user price.”
“They can swipe their credit card, purchase a platform and then resell it as a solution,” he adds. “Or they can do consulting to say what is the right mix and we already see resellers heading down that model. evaluating cloud applications and putting together a recommended catalogue.”