Reseller News

Soft Solutions picks up PHD

Distributor sees virtual backup and monitoring product fit for upper range of SMBs

Soft Solutions has been signed on to deliver PHD to the New Zealand market, perceiving an opportunity to deliver virtual backup services to smaller organisations.

PHD is said to have been represented at one point by Westcon in this country. According to a spokesperson, Westcon initiated ending the relationship with PHD, but was unable to comment further on the brand.

Soft Solutions says it reached the agreement after being referred by TrackITOnline in Australia. The deal is seen as a natural outgrowth of Soft Solutions' history of finding bespoke solutions.

“When Soft Solutions started its business, Chris Fitzgerald, the owner, set it up to purchase hard to find or obscure software and products for the channel,” says Paul Leslie, business development manager. “We’ve basically picked up distribution of a number of products via an instruction by TrackITOnline.”

Leslie says the product “goes head-to-head” with Veeam in terms of functionality, but is priced more within the range of smaller organisations. PHD supports backups of VMWare and Citrix virtual machines, and is expected to deliver a backup for Hyper-V later this year.

PHD recently switched from a pure host basis licensing scheme to align with VMWare and Citrix environments, on a per-CPU socket basis. An entry-level price for a standard host comes in at about $1400, Leslie says.

“In New Zealand terms, that’s probably in the higher part of the SMBs. But it definitely has some good channel potential,” Leslie says. “With that we get the opportunity to do managed services licensing, as well. I’ve had some good discussions around that already because that’s the wave of the future for resellers, to provide fully managed services for their customers and backup is going to be part of that.”

As Leslie implies, PHD offers two solutions, one for backup, and the other for monitoring. Leslie says the the backup is where Soft Solutions sees the brand’s main thrust, with some interest among the end user community in the monitoring product.

A little history

Generally speaking, Leslie says, Soft Solutions continues to hunt up hard-to-find or niche products on behalf of its reseller partners for one-off projects.

“This goes back to when Chris [Fitzgerald] was the sourhtern region manager for PC Power and they had an account manager who looked after resellers,” Leslie says. “So when PC Power folded, he set up shop to focus on resellers telling us what they wanted and we’d go find it for you. That was back before the internet was very strong and you actually had to get CDs from the States with the different vendors on them.”

Soft Solutions continues such bespoke work for any partner that asks but it finds the likes of Dimension Data and Gen-i are more actively making “unusual requests”, Leslie says.