D&H is also launching the related DaaS Lifecycle Management program in Canada, thus bringing two programs north which have been successful in the U.S.
SMB-focused distributor D&H Canada has launched their Cloud Solutions program into the Canadian market. While Cloud Solutions has been available in the U.S. for several years, and was rebooted there last June, it has not been available in the Canadian market until now. Ian Cumming has joined D&H Canada as senior cloud development manager to work with Canadian partners on the program. D&H is also bringing its Device as a Service [DaaS] program, which complements the Cloud Solutions one, to Canada as well.
“D&H has been doing cloud business in the U.S. for about five years,” said Jason Bystrak, D&H’s Vice President of Cloud Business Unit. “We expanded the strategy after I joined D&H a year ago, and deepened our investments in the cloud. Now, the resources and the Go-to-Market that we have used in the U.S. will be replicated as we expand into Canada now. It is a formal business unit, staffed with the right sales and technical people.”
The key part of the program is the Success Path to Cloud initiative.
“Success Path to Cloud is designed to help partners on the success path, and make sure we bring integrated solutions to market that are easy to sell,” Bystrak stated. The focus is on helping resellers and VARs transition to developing profitable managed service practices.
D&H’s partner base is heavily weighted towards smaller resellers, and compared to the solution provider market as a whole, relatively few of them self-define as MSPs.
“We have done extensive assessments of our customers here, and in Canada,” Bystrak said. “About 15% identify as being an MSP. Success Path to Cloud is about developing these managed services skills.”
Success Path to Cloud focuses on making it easy for resellers to operationalize managed services. It will offer a broad range of cloud solutions from vendors such as ConnectWise, RingCentral, Axcient and Dropbox, and in categories like business management tools, remote monitoring and management, unified communications, contact centre services, cloud-based storage, remote access, document management, and back-up and disaster recovery.
The ranks of participating vendors in cross-border distributor programs are often very different on the two sides of the border, but Bystrak stressed that D&H is trying to make sure that won’t be the case here.
“Over the last year or so, we’ve made sure in every case in the US that we have a North American agreement with them because we want to make it as easy as possible to serve both markets,” Bystrak said. “We will look at relationships that may be in demand in Canada that are not here in the U.S. as well, and will keep our eyes and ears open for that.”
Bystrak described Success Path to Cloud as an eight-step methodology to provide the necessary foundational skills.
“They learn how to design a solution, pick the right vendor partners, use a proven strategy, and build a financial plan,” he said. “We also help with the operational setup around things like ticketing and support, and provide help on sales and marketing. As the partner goes through the program, we also help narrow down the vendors that make sense for them.”
The training is a voluntary process.
“Partners don’t want mandatory certifications,” Bystrak said. “This is a menu of different training curriculums.”
Bringing in Cumming, whose long channel experience includes long tenures at both Microsoft and distributor Ingram Micro, is an important part of the strategy.
“We want to make sure that we have onsite Canadian representation,” Bystrak said. “We don’t want to run this from the U.S.”
“We will be reaching out to the entire Canadian base of D&H with this,” Cumming said. “My knowledge is around working with these partners and getting them to have an understanding of what it takes to be successful. Many are still looking how to be successful.”
D&H is also bringing its Device as a Service program into Canada. It lets resellers deliver a suite of client devices, including high-performance notebooks, workstations, desktops, thin-clients, and tablets through a multi-year, subscription-based term.
“The program starts with any hardware device that the customer might want to consume as a service,” Bystrak said. “There is a minimum of three service components we provide with that – support, warranty, and refresh – and at the end of the service term the device needs to be terminated or refreshed with an updated device. We have service providers for all three of the components, but if a partner wants to perform them themselves, they absolutely can.”
Bystrak emphasized that DaaS is different from a lease because it’s a true OPEX model.
“The refresh cycle giving a brand new device is also very attractive,” he said. “This is becoming a popular way to consume technology, and we are excited to expand it into Canada so that hardware can be wrapped into the consumption model.”