Investment-backed distributor takes aim at UK enterprise channel

A distributor with a base in the Middle East and backed by investment funds is building its European business, based on offering local resources, recruiting local staff and resellers. Spectrami’s new UK MD, Sean Fane (pictured) talked about the model to IT Europa.

It is very much aimed at providing partners with a hand-holding introduction, supporting sales and then providing services after the sale, he says. For vendors, this offers a model which does not require them to invest in local resources, and this has proved attractive in the home market in the UAE, where it has clocked up $60m of sales in the last year.

It does mean fairly heavy forward investment by Spectrami, and this is something it has planned, he says. The UAE-based financial backers aim to build a strong international distribution business using this model.

“We know we need to invest. It is what used to be called a VAD model, but with us doing more of the support work; eventually the channel can take over this role. Spectrami has found a number of US-based software vendors looking to expand out of the home market. We understand the culture and are prepared to deliver everything the vendor needs in the region. This has been very successful in the Middle East, based around security.”

He is now looking to recruit local staff in the UK and find ten or so of partners to work with over the next year, using this model. “If a reseller is offering a solution that can save half the cost of a particular infrastructure using these new technologies, it is a compelling case for the customer. We are hoping resellers will look at this as an opportunity to win new business and build new business streams.”

Any organisation working in the cloud will recognise the challenges; it is not for the SMB market, but aims clearly at enterprise cost saving, he explains.

He can set his offerings against some other, perhaps divisions, of broadline distributors because of their reluctance to cannibalise existing sales and run-rate business, he says. “I’ve worked for some of the larger distributors. They rely on rebates and are not motivated to develop new ways for customers to work in the cloud, disrupting servers and storage. We want to capitalise on the shift from siloed servers and storage and enable the channel to offer much better solutions in infrastructure services.”

He has a number of vendors who are relatively new and looking at this way of delivering infrastructure to enterprises. “This is entrepreneurial technology delivery and we are investing significantly to enable the vendors to be disruptive. They will look at us as an organization who can deliver change.”

The distributor has spent the last six months working on the various vendors and markets, as they emerge and become more widely adopted.

Spectrami offers data centre and security products with the emphasis on newer technologies in the German, Dutch and UK markets, where because of acquisitions, the portfolios differ across the region, but the eventual aim is broad convergence.

The portfolio includes, for example:

  • Datera – Provides high-performance, software-defined, hyper-scale data centre solutions
  • Apstra – Has pioneered intent-based networking and intent-based analytics™ to eliminate data centre network complexities and inefficiencies
  • Peer Software – Creates best-of-breed solutions for multi-vendor, multi-cloud, multi-site data backup, collaboration, synchronisation and migration
  • Enveil – Is pioneering the ability for enterprises to securely operate at scale in the cloud, on-premises, or anywhere in between
  • AppViewX – Is driving automation for network and security operations
  • Authlogics – As well as password compliance and authentication, is helping organisations to move beyond passwords
  • illapa – Is spearheading a new way to deliver services over the cloud