Umbrellar's new CEO, Dave Howden, has hailed the success of what he described as "New Zealand's most disruptive ecosystem".
The ecosystem he was referring to was Umbrellar's MyCSP platform, launched in November last year aiming to shake up the Microsoft Azure cloud model.
In a video update earlier this month, Howden said partner acquisition in MyCSP had just tipped over 400 individual connections from over 60 partners.
Speaking to Reseller News, however, he said those numbers had grown to 75 partners and 800 individuals.
Umbrellar was ramping up investment by a factor of four to support and build the ecosystem ahead of a planned global rollout in the middle of the year, Howden said.
The overarching strategy was to use the New Zealand market to develop "what good looks like" before the launch.
That would put Umbrellar into direct competition with industry giants such as Ingram Micro, with its CloudBlue ecosystem.
"We are continuing to invest over the next year, to bring sellers, business development, inbound people, engineers and marketers to co-sell together," Howden said in the update.
Umbrellar was investing in partner business development by recruiting business development managers to collaborate, co-sell and help partners win deals jointly against the larger systems integrators, Howden said.
Formerly Umbrellar's head of cloud, Howden took the reins as CEO in December, replacing Michael Foley who is now executive chairman.
The appointment followed the divestment of Umbrellar's Freeparking web hosting and domain name business to focus on cloud migration, leveraging key partnerships with Microsoft, HPE, VMware and others.
For use by both enterprises and resellers, the MyCSP platform was at the core of Umbrellar's aggressive growth plans in New Zealand and overseas, the company said on launch.
In the update, Umbrellar partner marketing and sales operations managerNadia Phillips welcomed Ian Hassell as revenue officer half-time.
Hassell, who was formerly corporate channel manager at Microsoft NZ, was charged with helping build a strong sales team and funnel, Phillips said.
“He's going to be a huge strength to Umbrellar and shows the investment we are making into the ecosystem and our partners," she said.
Phillips also welcomed Hazel Yang as MyCSP specialist. Yang was the first part of a sales team to help Umbrellar to understand how its could drive partner growth and value, she said.
Yang was formerly at Westcon working on the "AWS side", Phillips said.
"We've brought her over from the dark side to Microsoft," she quipped.
Phillips took partners through the important features of MyCSP. including updates on Microsoft programmes, a deal desk where partners could register their deals, and support from Microsoft.
These and other resources could help partners build and add value to their businesses, she said.
'MyCSP is a great way to build annuity revenue and we saw how important that was in 2020 with COVID," she said.
A lot of work had been done in Partner Central which was also where leads and referrals were being generated from the Microsoft marketplace or by notified opportunities from Microsoft-managed accounts.
More and more features were being added, she said, including analysis to help navigate "partner of record" files and competencies, incentives and co-op funds for marketing.
Head of product and commerce at Umbrellar, Alex Basan, leads the developers and engineers working on MyCSP.
Basan said some really big features were coming, with the main one to be released in mid February being MyCSP analytics.
This would deliver information on subscriptions, for instance, and add value based on knowledge Umbrellar had about partners' customers.
It would allow them to make decisions based on real data around measures such as churn and expose how much partners had saved by working through Umbrellar.
Basan said his team was also working on better alignment between the MyCSP product catalogue and Microsoft's. A discounts function had also been added, allowing partners to specify discounts per product category or for specific customers.
Additional information on order history and upgrades and downgrades of licenses had also been included.