More than ever, organisations rely on data to solve customer problems and identify those areas where the decision-making process can be improved. With data playing such an integral role in business success (or failure), putting in place a data protection and recovery strategy must be a priority. Simplifying the management of the complex workloads required to do so requires scalable, robust and secure solutions.
This is where a vendor like NetApp comes in. Its focus is on providing the means to efficiently move data between environments, whether this is across public, private or hybrid clouds, or multi-cloud. All this is done through an intuitive user experience. After all, companies are looking for a unified experience when managing data in the cloud.
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For instance, NetApp ONTAP has been around for almost three decades. Today, it delivers data services regardless of the infrastructure that it lives on. In fact, ONTAP can be found in data centres around the world. But what does this mean for businesses or resellers looking to leverage the strength of the NetApp value proposition?
History of innovation
One such way is through FlexPod, a hybrid cloud platform that delivers reliability, scalability and performance. Jointly developed by NetApp and Cisco, FlexPod integrates applications and workloads from Microsoft, SAP, VMWare, Oracle and more. Effectively, it delivers a cloud-like experience that allows companies to seize new opportunities and shift to the future with turnkey automation, workload optimisation and flexible consumption.
Of course, NetApp has a proud pedigree in data and cloud solutions. But more than reselling these innovations to their customers, channel partners are looking for ways to deliver faster time to market solutions where they can drive profit margins quicker than before. And it is here where the Microsoft Azure Marketplace digital catalogue of enterprise-class products and services come into the equation.
With almost 16 000 products and services available from independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide, the marketplace has become a critical stop for companies looking for easily managed solutions to specific business needs. And for the resellers, this provides an additional revenue stream that leverages the “appification” of solutions that are customised for specific organisational requirements.
However, making products available on the Azure Marketplace is not without complexity. Building unique solutions with NetApp as the foundation requires extensive negotiation and for agreements to be put in place. Invariably, this will also see smaller ISVs struggle to find the most cost-effective terms for them as they simply do not have the buying power that larger, more enterprise-focused ones have.
This is just one part of the Azure Marketplace equation. The billing process, accounting for margins and discounts, can take up a sizeable number of resources that could have been spent delivering more strategic value for the organisation.
Westcon-Comstor has introduced its CloudPlace partner programme that does exactly this. It simplifies the process for ISVs who want to incorporate the Azure Marketplace into their growth strategies. Effectively, Westcon-Comstor is making it easy for resellers to create their own solutions in the Azure Marketplace while leveraging the support and service offerings of the experienced distributor.
CloudPlace is designed to fast-track the delivery of multi-vendor ISV cloud solutions directly from the Azure Marketplace. And NetApp, for example, is just the start. Regardless of the application or service, the CloudPlace programme inserts the partner into the sale, strips away the complexity of partnership agreements, and partners them with Azure without the admin headaches.
CloudPlace also sees the experienced team at Westcon-Comstor manage all the admin required by the Azure Marketplace. What this means in practical terms is that the ISV can reduce its procurement, operational and billing overhead. The reseller has access to subject-matter experts at Westcon-Comstor who manage their transactions no matter the volume and complexity.
A position of strength
The role of CloudPlace is two-fold as a partner looking to tap into the marketplace to build solutions for their customers can do so, while those ISVs building solutions for the marketplace can also lean on Westcon-Comstor to get them there. In the latter case, Westcon-Comstor negotiates the offer, sets up the payment methods, creates an account, and so on, to ensure the ISV can concentrate on developing the best solution for its customer base. Once created, the solution is made available to the customer from inside their Azure console. Because Westcon-Comstor understands all aspects of the channel, it has made the Azure Marketplace process as easy as possible.
CloudPlace enables resellers to realise a faster path to market. Because Westcon-Comstor has the transacting relationship in place with ISVs like NetApp, the benefits of being part of this programme can be quickly realised.
And for organisations looking to unlock all the potential that a cloud marketplace can deliver in a cloud- and data-driven world, this customised approach of solution development sees products and services being rolled out and implemented as quickly as possible.
To find out more about the Westcon-Comstor CloudPlace partner programme, click here.
Westcon-Comstor sub-Saharan Africa is part of the Middle East and Africa subsidiary of the Westcon-Comstor Group, a global technology provider and specialist distributor operating in more than 70 countries. It delivers business value and opportunity by connecting the world’s leading IT vendors with a channel of technology resellers, systems integrators and service providers. It combines industry insight, technical know-how and more than 30 years of distribution experience to deliver value and accelerate vendor and partner business success. It goes to market through two lines of business: Westcon and Comstor.
- The author, Luke Bainbridge, is ISV channel manager at Westcon-Comstor sub-Saharan Africa
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