With a lowercase “r”, a new lease of life and a crystallised focus, Cloud channel company rhipe is ripping up the rulebook in New Zealand.
Defined as a distributor yet almost removed from such traditional modes of operation, the Melbourne-based licensing provider is shaking up the Kiwi market one vendor and partner at a time, capitalising on the rising tide of Cloud adoption across the country.
“That’s a great question,” says George De Bono, General Manager of A/NZ Sales, rhipe, when asked by Reseller News to detail where the distributor fits within a New Zealand context.
“And I know each one of our vendor partners would like me to mention them here I’m sure, as would each one of our partners, but the reality is it has to be the downstream customers of our partners.
“After all, if we can’t help our partners take the offerings from our vendors and turn them into a value proposition that their customers want or need, then we aren’t doing our job.”
Since rebranding from NewLease on December 1, 2014, rhipe has grown to become the leading Cloud software licensing expert in the Asia-Pacific region.
With strong vendor portfolios from Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware, Trend Micro and Veeam among others, rhipe sits at the intersection of the distribution space, specialising in supporting the service provider community as Cloud adoption intensifies.
“We’re looking to do what we do in other geographies into New Zealand,” says De Bono, when speaking to Reseller News before the 2016 Microsoft Partner Awards in Auckland.
“In New Zealand, that means continued growth and strategic investment in opportunities that we think will help our partners grow their businesses.”
De Bono believes this could be in the form of either new vendors - such as recent additions IBM SoftLayer or Acronis - or in delivery mechanisms designed to enable partners to not only consume rhipe offerings in a more streamlined fashion, but to provide the platform to showcase those offerings in a “bazaar type arrangement”.
Fresh from reporting record half-year revenues, built off its big investment in public Cloud, the born in the Cloud distributor has a clear channel play for New Zealand in 2016, focusing on a combination of aggregation, collaboration and enablement.
"Aggregation in terms of bringing together multiple pieces from our vendor and ISV partners to form an offering that our broader community can take to market as a “partner branded” offering,” De Bono explains.
“Collaboration in terms of being able to bring multiple entities together to build effective communities that deliver a value proposition that is greater than what each individual entity brings to the table.
"And enablement in terms of providing our partners with a broader choice of offerings with which to build customer focused answers to the outcomes based conversations they are having.”
With an office in Auckland and a growing partner base, rhipe is revamping its New Zealand efforts at a time when Kiwi organisations are warming to the idea of “anything as-a-service”, as traditions tail off in favour of Cloud-based business agendas.
“Looking into crystal balls is something I have always tried to avoid as it is fraught with danger, but businesses are now much more in tune with this way of operation, so we will see much more of this going forward in New Zealand,” De Bono adds.
As Kiwi businesses embrace the as-a-service economy, rhipe sits well placed to capitalise, drawing on 12 years’ experience working with over 1,500 service providers across the region, forging key relationships with vendors such as Microsoft, VMware and Citrix to name a few.
“I don’t think we in the industry have the luxury to take our eye of any market, but where we need to move to is more specialised focus on what are the core sectors for us as individual organisations,” De Bono adds.
“As end customer organisations focus more and more on their core business and consume increased amounts of “stuff as-a-service”, they will want to deal with people and companies that know their sector.”
For De Bono, speaking to Reseller News ahead of the company’s upcoming rhipe Cloud Summit 2016 in Wellington this month, the message to the local channel is simple; “know what you are good at and listen to what your customer wants”.
“You have to be able to help them get to the outcomes they desire better and faster than ever before and that pace will only accelerate as we move forward,” De Bono explains.
“Additionally, we also need to embrace the “not invented here” mindset in terms of if we identify that if your customer wants something you can’t deliver, your first investigation has to be into who can deliver it, and can I deliver it as-a-service or as a click through.”
Coupled with ongoing insights, De Bono naturally has a word of warning for local partners, as the new Cloud economy creates disruptors and the disrupted.
“It is the same message as I am delivering to my team,” he admits. “We can impact a business in two ways financially, by helping them improve their top line or their bottom line, and we do this from delivering outcomes for them.
“These outcomes can be new revenue lines or business opportunities, or improving their return on investment.”