D&H services offered in Canada for partners to white-label have been designed for the Canadian market, using Canadian providers for delivery.
SMB-focused D&H Distributing has made white-labelled professional services and managed services available in the United States for years. D&H Canada has now launched a portfolio that includes a range of professional services, IT services, and managed services that their Canadian reseller partners can sell under their own brand.
“We have had services in the U.S., but with services, the deployment and execution have to be within the country,” said Roy Rivers, Vice President of Sales at D&H Canada. “We now have a model that can be executed in-country.”
Rivers stressed that many D&H partners in Canada, even relatively small ones, would like to offer services to customers, but that there are logistical issues for them in doing so.
“In my two years here, I’ve spoken with VARs about their desire to build out their services business,” Rivers said. “The issue is that there is an investment cost. They like the idea of services that they can white label, and which can augment what they already have, while reducing the need for this cost.”
Even partners who already have some services are interested in adding more, Rivers added.
“Some of our VARs have a few services,” he said. “Some don’t have any. We have looked at what worked in the U.S, what hasn’t worked, and what we think will work in Canada. There are differences to take into account, including the fact that partners in the U.S. tend to be a little bigger.”
D&H has always emphasized the fact that they have many micro-level partners, including one-man shops. Those very small ones aren’t really a market for these services, but companies not much larger are.
“We are seeing interest come from both small resellers with two to three people, as well as medium-sized partners who already have some established services,” Rivers indicated.
“In both Canada and the U.S., we have taken a fair amount of time to determine who our customers are for this,” said Chris Ralston, Director of Vendor Management at D&H Canada. “In particular, the services offering is designed to augment the services that they have and not compete directly with what most of them are offering.”
Ralston noted that the services fall into three buckets – IT services, managed services and professional services.
The IT services include break/fix services and wireless network assessments.
The break/fix services are tiered to accommodate different levels of support to fit client budgets,
“These are available on most Tier One vendor hardware, and they range from small jobs to complex SAN installations,” Ralston said.
The actual support is provided by service delivery subcontractors.
“We have partnered with service delivery businesses only for this,” Ralston said. “We don’t partner with resellers. We see that as a channel conflict.”
The wireless network assessments are on-site surveys which provide specificity into the unique challenges of each prospective client location, identifying connectivity, dead zones, and areas of channel interference that may affect performance. Some networking vendors give these away for free, but Ralston said that there is a market in the SMB which will pay for these services, providing they are the right ones.
“There are two types of these surveys – passive surveys and active wireless surveys, he stated. “The free ones are passive surveys, where software makes the recommendations. The opportunity here is in doing the active surveys, basically walking the floor and mapping it and testing the signal strength. This is especially important in multi-floor office buildings.”
The managed services are white-labelled and offered on a contract basis.
“There are two types of managed services,” Ralston said. “One is network operations centre management services, where we manage the end customer’s environment for the partner on a contracted basis, as well as some endpoint devices if these are included in the contract.”
The other managed services are around digital signage.
“There has been some consolidation in the market, but there is still a good opportunity to sell single panel solutions, because everyone now has them in a waiting area,” Ralston said. “For partners who want to build a practice here out, we have a solution for them. One service we provide here is content creation. We have partnered with two digital signage MSPs, who push the content out to the displays at the end customer site.”
The third area of focus is professional services.
“Here, we have an offering on a contract basis to fill IT staffing needs for the partner’s customers, which is white-labelled as well,” Ralson indicated. “We have partnered with a security delivery provider to offer security consulting services that can be white labeled by partners.”
These are security services that are appropriate for SMBs, not some of the newer ones that have appeared lately in the enterprise space.
“These are very much ‘meat and potatoes’ services,” Ralston said. “They are not for small business, but for the mid-sized businesses in SMB and the partners who service that market.”
The goal here from D&H Canada’s perspective is to provide their partners with a cost-effective way to add new revenue sources.
“The key message is that we want to widen the offerings available from our VARs, without them having to sink a lot of cost into it,” Ralston concluded.