Tech Data is keeping a razor sharp focus on the key technology areas of hybrid cloud, security, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) vice president and country manager Andy Berry said in the past 12 to 18 months, Tech Data has significantly doubled down on these technologies.
He said to ARN that the business is focusing on partners that are big in those spaces while also moving away from technology that doesn't align to its key areas.
“You've got to decide on what you want to go harder on and what do you move away from and part of it is to do with being part of a global organisation. What can you pick up and bring into the market here from overseas? Those are the things that we're focused around in that cloud, security, analytics and data space,” Berry said.
One of the key initiatives Tech Data brought into the market last year was its Centres of Excellence (CoE), which it introduced alongside IBM in July 2021 to address the growing demand for big data and business analytics solutions in the region.
Berry estimated there were more than 130 orchestrated solutions that enable partners to take their own business into new market areas and enable customers along their journey, whether that’s via a demonstration or proof of concept.
“We're getting great traction there now and are continuing to push that hard in the market,” he said.
Leaning into that is Tech Data’s StreamOne cloud platform and Click to Run solutions – two areas that have attracted continual investment, Berry said.
“We’re continuing to see more partners making a difference by deploying that into their customer-verse,” he said. “We find the synergies and then we bring our skills and collaborate with partners and vendors to build a capability that previously didn't exist in the market.”
As well as running typical distributor support for vendors such as webinars and enablement sessions, Berry said the CoEs open up an avenue for partners into making choices with adjacent technologies.
One area that Berry found intriguing was the amount of resellers, value-added resellers and system integrators that had still yet to commit to a clear public cloud strategy.
“They've played a little bit with one or other hyperscalers but still haven't made a strong commitment to build a practice and to double down,” he said. “That notion of building a practice is front and centre in how we try to help partners move more effectively into the public cloud as a component of their work, rather than just reacting to individual customer pressures to put workloads into the cloud.
“How do they actually build a practice so they've got an intentional suite of solutions that they take into their own customer base?”
This also leans into the peaking interest of a hybrid cloud environment, which are opening conversations towards data, artificial intelligence and sovereign data centres (DC).
“Within a sovereign DC, how do you have the capacity for some significant storage requirements but also leveraging the kind of GPUs that are best suited to run those kinds of heavy AI processing, and analytics processing workloads?” Berry said.
“Rather than everything going into the public cloud, the conversation is what should my hybrid cloud strategy be? The organisations that have got a practice around cloud understand that and are guiding on that front.”
In battling the skills shortage front, Berry said Tech Data was increasingly offering services into partners to help them support their customers, whether it's around the hyperscalers of Microsoft or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“How do organisations deal with onboarding their customers with skilling up in new solutions, designing new workloads or putting in place migrations or configurations,” he said. “We're beginning to offer a lot of those services and I see that expanding.”
Security was also another area that Berry pointed out, especially when it comes to securing the cloud journey.
“Partners need resources because they just haven't got enough people or capacity to deal with the customer demand,” he added. “So it's nice to be in a position where we can start to offer some of those support services well into the partner base, and then let them scale more effectively.”