Ex-Arrow ECS ANZ boss joins amid new platform release

Ex-Arrow ECS ANZ boss joins amid new platform release

New version of asset renewal platform comes with LIPS strategy's chief strategy officer, Nick Verykios's chief strategy officer, Nick Verykios

Credit: Arrow

IT industry stalwart and former Arrow ECS ANZ managing director Nick Verykios has officially joined as its new chief strategy officer as the lifecycle management provider launches a new version of its asset renewal platform.

Until now, Verykios has been unofficially making contributions to the product lifecycle management business, which has surpassed more than 10 years in business, since it was spun out as a separate entity from Distribution Central, a business he built from the ground up, along with fellow co-founder Scott Frew.

Since then, has attracted a global customer base featuring Fujitsu, Arrow, McAfee, Honeywell and Flexigroup, managing more than A$20 billion in assets, transforming the way in which the technology industry manages recurring revenue through automating and streamlining different types of contracts across cloud consumption, subscriptions, hardware and software maintenance.

Verykios’ remit is focusing on working with partners and prospects to help gain a competitive advantage in the market, through engaging with the renewals platform along with educating them on its LIPS sales strategy — 'Land, Invest, Protect, Surrender' — which plays an important part in the latest version of the platform.

Verykios took a well earned break from the IT industry in June last year, after leaving his role as managing director of Arrow ECS ANZ, which acquired Distribution Central in 2016.

Verykios was the main driver behind Distribution Central’s go-to-market strategy of ‘Land, Expand, Extend, Protect’, forming a distributor that was centred around value-add, rather than volume.

“The opportunity is massive, but the cost of sale is virtually nothing when you use the platform,” Verykios said. 

“The channel has never been in a more dominant position — it owns the installed-base, and it’s an opportunity for the channel to improve the $3-$5 trillion opportunity, in refreshing technology, so it can move static to digital transformation, or just upgrading their businesses. It means getting more out of what you already have with the technology you’ve already invested in and reference architecture.”

Verykios said with a lot of assets being shifted from on-premises into a cloud environment, this presented a huge asset management opportunity for the channel. 

Version nine of the platform takes on a much more user-friendly experience, and places a greater effort on how it links vendors, distributors, resellers and end-customers, not only in IT, but also touching into other asset tracking areas such as IoT, OT, and fintech, CEO and founder, Scott Frew said. The platform will also make a play into prescription pharmaceuticals. 

Specifically to adopting the LIPS strategy, 'Land' refers to ‘net new quoting’ feature. Up until version eight, the platform didn’t have a net new quoting feature, something that Frew recognised as an area that needed to be incorporated into the whole ‘renewals’ experience with the capability to ingest any quote from any distributor or vendor across A/NZ. 

'Invest' is focused on campaigns encompassing the entire upgrade, cross-grade and uncovering more 'unsolicited' quoting opportunities, particularly among complementary vendor offerings. This is one particular area that Frew highlighted as gaining major traction in the market. 

“They are mining their own install base, which they’ve never seen before. There’s no other quoting tool around that is built to track that,” Frew said. “There’s a lot of quoting engines, but nothing that is driven at that sales level.”

'Protect' is focused on the classic renewals model; and 'Surrender' tackles recycling and reusing hardware assets across an organisation.

“Although we came from a renewals background originally from DC, to manage all of our installed base, Protect is a much more mature conversation that may not be a classic renewal, or it may be a renewal for more years or modules, there’s a deeper conversation going on,” he said. “There’s no such thing as an automatic renewal anymore, bar some of the cloud players, so you need to be all over that.”

“Resellers, distributors and some vendors aren’t really thinking about the environmental impact of hardware, other than just focusing on net new sales, and the bigger players think that product lifecycle management is purely administrative. But they are potentially a bigger sales offering, especially in a pandemic where net new sales are starting to dwindle and people are trying to maintain existing equipment for longer periods of time,” Frew added. 

Frew said that previously, the platform was a fairly enterprise system that required a lot of high-touch input, whereas now it can work seamlessly alongside other applications such as Xero, Salesforce, ConnectWise, and so forth.

“We launched a project about three years ago called Fresco, and it was all about re-doing the whole user experience to account for some of the changes that had been going on in the channel across distributors and resellers,” Frew said. 

On top of this, is also offering small- to medium-sized resellers that have felt impacts from COVID-19 pandemic, six months' free access to the platform to help speed up quoting and take advantage recurring revenue opportunities.

“Some resellers are still using legacy systems, even Excel, to do their quoting, or they’re relying on their distributor’s quoting system to do all the thinking for them, but it doesn’t allow the opportunity to actually invest in their own business,” Frew said. 

Verykios said the company was undertaking a lot of work to educate the market on the strategic opportunity.

“Everyone talks about digital transformation, but it’s actually value transformation,” Verykios said. “If you’re using technology it needs to be to your benefit, and unique, so the consultative selling process becomes important. In order to achieve this, you need a strategy such as LIPS, and we’re helping them understand and take action with the platform.”

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