The IT Channel and Cloud — Partnering for Growth

This post was contributed by Russell Warne, AWS Sales and Product Specialist, First Distribution.

This blog is in response to the CloudHealth Tech series “Evolution and Opportunity: Why Service Providers Should Embrace the Cloud”.

First Distribution, a CloudHealth Tech partner and South Africa’s leading distributor and first cloud services broker, shares how they are aligning their own business model with market changes as a result of increased cloud adoption.

Cloud computing is a truly radical concept that is transforming the business landscape. The modern cloud business model offers benefits such as low cost, agility and flexibility, security, and scalability.

Many companies that are taking advantage of this new paradigm have a different way of managing cloud infrastructure and services compared to ‘traditional’ outfits. Others are tentative, moving edge workloads only or holding back until they have access to the knowledge, skills, and know-how to migrate their business processes onto cloud platforms. Some are simply not ready to take advantage of these benefits. Irrespective of the phase companies are in, it is clear from the figures produced by market analysts that most (if not all) end users will transition to the modern cloud-based reality to increasing extent, and with increasing pace.

As this transition happens, service providers must follow suit. This is both the challenge and the opportunity for our reseller base, where public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are expanding their reach and uptake rapidly. In a recent blog series, CloudHealth Technologies CEO and Co-founder, Dan Phillips, offered straight talk on why he believes service providers must transition to the cloud and the opportunities to take advantage of. I was pleased to see First for Cloud, a division of First Distribution, lined up well with his sentiment.

Key Takeaways From Dan and How First for Cloud Aligns

MSPs should resell AWS or Azure, and offer customer billing and Reserved Instance (RI) modeling to get your customer base started.

We get resellers into the invoice loop so they can bill customers and provide cost optimization recommendations by leveraging RI modeling and specific resource optimization methods. Local invoicing appeals to end-customers as well, by eliminating the use of credit cards and providing better procurement governance and control.

Build managed service offerings that find cost and performance optimizations on a continuous basis, and apply governance and policies for cost, usage, performance, and security best practices in the cloud.

We give partners access to one of the leading cloud management platforms, CloudHealth, to enable them to build out service portfolios. CloudHealth literally enables a “zero to hero” ramp-up for partners, and we facilitate this process through combining the comprehensive power of the platform with the experience we have across multiple cloud vendors and our own journey to cloud.

MSPs will eventually get to a full 24x7 service model where the end user is completely hands-free.

Our cloud management platform enables automation and monitoring for reduced direct management and investment, ultimately boosting profits and extending reach. Again, CloudHealth has powered this impressively.

Service providers must have certified Solutions Architects on staff.

We provide subsidized onboarding with AWS training partners to help you get to the right level of certification. We also connect partners with the resources we have built up to get answers quickly and map out their certification journey.

Define service packages and pricing.

We’ve been cloud-first for years and can help customers build models and packages that meet their unique business needs.

Enable the sales force to be able to sell these subscription-based services.

Our Cloud Catalyst Program deals with ways to change how salespeople are measured. Our goal is always to be “n+1” — giving our partners what they need, plus the extra to get ahead. After all, we have transitioned our own business, including how our sales team works, and we lean on this experience and our service providers and vendors to help partners transition.

Final Thoughts

Leveraging a leading distributor’s network with several world-class cloud providers ensures that as a reseller, you can access the top global and local cloud solutions and services to scale your business. Take advantage of solutions that enable you to configure and spin up virtual servers from your own branded webstore and bill customers directly.

Please connect with me to discuss how we can help you build your cloud business and get up and running selling cloud services quickly.

Russell Warne
 (011) 540 2640

About Russell Warne

Russell Warne has more than twenty years of IT industry success and a strong track record in sales, sales management, and business management — primarily in distribution but within the reseller and vendor tiers as well. Russell is experienced in channel development and enablement, team leadership, opportunity development, planning and execution of go-to-market plans.

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