Dicker Data will kick off its first ever national roadshow next month, offering resellers the chance to meet the extended Dicker Data team, following its Express Data acquisition last year, and
Ben Johnson, Dicker Data general manager of marketing and strategy, says the event will provide an opportunity for resellers to get face to face with brands they may not be used to dealing with.
“If they’re were traditionally an Express Data reseller who was big in Cisco, and now they’re exposed to the Dicker side and the brands we carry, it’s a great time to meet the team, and vice versa.”
The event, themed ‘multiply your business, multiply your revenue streams and multiple your opportunities’ will feature a panel session with platinum sponsors, who include Cisco, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and Toshiba.
“It’s a great opportunity to hear from key management personnel within our platinum vendor sponsors on their vision for 2015 and 2016 and where they see the market moving and how they see the go to markets.”
An expo floor will also allow resellers to get up close and personal with around 25 of Dicker Data’s vendors.
TechX will kick off in Brisbane in July, followed by Perth, Melbourne and Sydney through August.
Vendors going along for the ride include, Fujitsu, Ruckus, WatchGuard, Asus, Netgear, SAP, Samsung, Storagecraft and Symantec.
New vendors, new opportunities
The distributor is looking to add some new faces to its portfolio of just over 40 vendors, and is currently in discussions with three vendors who would be new for the Australian market.
“We’re looking for growth within our existing vendor portfolio here, but also chasing down some new vendors as well,” Johnson says.
He says the company is looking at new vendors across existing and new markets for the distributor.
“We’re looking to expand within the markets where we are already playing, but we’re also looking to take our business into new areas as well.”
David Dicker, Dicker Data chief executive, says the company is now of a size where it gets unsolicited offers from vendors wanting it to represent them.
“As you get better and do better and become more effective, people want to be aligned with the most effective channels. So we will generate a bit more that way.”
Says Johnson: “Our business has to move with how the market moves too, so the introduction of things like the cloud, and all the rest, brings up new challenges and opportunities for businesses. So we obviously look to move with new vendor partners into those new spaces if we are unable to service our partners and give them a compelling enough solution with existing vendors.”
Johnson says cloud and services are the two key areas where the distributor sees ‘a lot’ of growth for resellers.
“It’s really important for all of our reseller partners to at least be considering how they’re going to move to the cloud, how they’re going to move their end customers to the cloud.
“And if they’re not delivering services today, how they can start delivering some value added services to their customers.”
Johnson says there are bigger revenue and margin opportunities for resellers in the cloud and services spaces.
“If they’re looking for strong and profitable growth, those are the two areas.”
Johnson says cloud provides a ‘real opportunity’ for partners to lock in customers, and makes it easier for resellers to easily build solutions out of multiple cloud offerings.
“It means we can sell a lot wider range of technologies to our customers who can offer it on to their customers.”
He says once customers have moved to the monthly billing, and it works, they are hesitant to move away from it.
“It almost creates a lock in effect. So we’re encouraging all our partners to go out there and have these discussions with their end customers about getting them onto these monthly agreements where it almost creates a lock in for them. And then it locks in the revenue for the partner as well.”
Johnson says demand for cloud appears to be across the board, though back-up as a service is particularly strong.
He says there is a push from vendors to move to the software-as-a-service model. “But I would say that is more vendor led initiative than a partner led one.”
But while Johnson is a proponent of the cloud model, he cautions partners not to move too quickly.
“It needs to be planned out. You have to make sure your business is ready for this because it does disrupt your business and change the way you interface with customers.”
He says many resellers don’t have the technology or capability to do invoicing on an annuity basis.
“That’s something we are looking to address with our cloud portal when we release it later this year.”
While Johnson won’t reveal many details about that launch, he says it is currently being beta tested by selected partners.