Championing solutions distribution
Recent move into new office premises, RedVault, a state-of-the-art solutions centre, new partner initiatives and how these will benefit the regional channel.
Talk us through Redington Value’s recent move to new premises and the solutions centre that the company unveiled for channel partners in MEA?
RAMKUMAR BALAKRISHNAN: The core motivation behind our recent move into the H Hotel Office Towers in Dubai was threefold. Firstly, as our business and brands we represent have grown, it was hard for us to provide the value add which is needed for our partners because we had run out of space. This meant that we were limited in what we could do hence we decided to move into a bigger office space. Secondly, we wanted to have a solutions centre that our reseller partners could use to do solutions demos, proof of concepts (PoCs) and configure technologies based on customer scenarios before implementing at customer sites. Thirdly, and probably the trend at the moment in the market is that we wanted to have a training centre for all the vendor brands we represent as we have taken a step further to ensure we provide authorised training on behalf of all the vendors we represent in MEA.
The move into the new facility will also help us to address, training, pre-sales, ability to do PoCs, demos, executive partner briefings and enhance collaboration. It will also give us the ability as a VAD to white label solutions from our side and take these to the channel so that they can resell them in the market.
What technologies will the solutions centre be showcasing to solution provider partners and their customers?
RB: Redington Value has been structured into five strategic business units and the fifth one being the newest kid on the block is the Cloud Business Unit. The other four are: Virtual Computing and Converged Infrastructure, Convergence Infrastructure, Software and Security, and Servers and Storage Group. The new RedVault Solutions Centre will showcase technologies around the data centre offerings including converged infrastructure, hyper-convergence, virtualisation solutions, cloud, hybrid cloud and security. In addition we will be able to engineer bespoke systems to suit a customer’s current infrastructure. The value for resellers is that they won’t have to invest in their own infrastructure but will use these facilities to demo, do PoCs and brief their clients or even provide training.
Why was the RedVault Solutions Centre so important for Redington Value business going forward?
RB: We decided to invest in this facility because usually it’s the vendors that build solution centres. For us, the need stems from the fact that if we have to succeed in the value and solutions distribution space, we need to have a facility where we can showcase that which we say we are able to do for our solution providers in the market. The solutions space especially in the cloud is a huge opportunity for partners. The only challenge for them is that they have to transform to be a part of it. If partners don’t transform, there is a possibility that they will be left out of this transformation. It’s a wakeup call and partners need to transform themselves and their businesses from a services perspective, understanding market dynamics and reconfigure their business models in the new era of changing IT consumption models. In addition, they have to continue to be relevant in a market that is rapidly changing every day. That’s why the new solutions centre becomes an integral part of our overall value add offering to the whole channel ecosystem in the region.
What type of training will you be offering through your new training facility?
RB: The training push is coming from the fact that the pace of change has made it hard sometime for the traditional IT authorised training providers to meet the demands and needs of the market. This is because a lot of the new emerging technologies require a hands-on approach hence we have invested in a data centre in the new solutions centre, something that will accord us the opportunity to highlight technologies to their clients live. We are also in talks with all our vendors discussing avenues on how Redington Value can be granted the rights to provide authorised training to channel partners and their end user customers. Through the learning centres, we will we be able to host daily technical sessions on current and emergies technologies. We have the capacity to host 40 people in our training facilities at any given time on a daily basis and this is important for our partners.
Which vendors will Redington Value represent as an authorised training provider?
RB: Ultimately, the plan is to have all the vendor brands that we represent on board. I believe the solutions centres is a game changer for us and I truly believe it will help us to reach out to the solution provider, ISV, SMB and the wider channel community with solutions offerings that address the ever evolving IT landscape in real time. We will start with the pre-sales side for our own employees and partners. I do believe the investment Redington Value has made in establishing these facilities distinguishes us in the VAD and solutions space.
What features will the new facility offer to channel partners and their customers?
RB: I pointed out earlier, we have training centres, the RedVault Solutions Centre, demo staging areas, collaboration centres, engagement capsules and RedCloud, a platform we unveiled during GITEX 2015 and is dedicated to demonstrating cloud solutions.
Cloud is a big opportunity beyond anything else in the technology sector today because when you look at the whole cloud journey, people get carried away by a lot of coverage on public cloud but don’t understand that the bigger opportunity lies in the private cloud.
From where we see it, the emerging markets are a great opportunity for cloud. The only challenge for partners is that they have to transform to be a part of it. If partners don’t transform, there is a possibility that they will be left out from this transformation.
What will drive Redington Value’s growth in 2016 and beyond?
RB: Redington Value has grown a year to date 23% year on year with every brand that we carry in our stable. The reason for the growth is that we have a rich portfolio of offerings, which we have added depth to with our focus on providing solutions. If you take software-defined networking (SDN) for example, this year promises to be an exciting year for SDN-focused partners, with SDN development poised for explosive growth. The same can be said about security, convergence and hyper-converged infrastructure. For all these to make sense to customers, there is need for PoCs hence through our solutions centre we will be offering that to partners.
What can your regional channel partners expect from Redington Value now that you have moved into new office premises?
RB: The most important message to our partners as we begin the next journey ahead is firstly, a big thank you for the last decade of doing business together and for allowing us to serve them. We want partners to look out for much more from us in terms of training and solutions engineering, PoCs and reselling of end-to-end solutions across all the business groups. In fact, the move into new office premises, where we now have a solutions centre has opened avenues for us to put partner training at the core of everything we do. Redington will take training to the next level by signing as the authorised training provider for the vendors it represents. We will not only provide training but increase our ability to provide solutions much more than just the products and brands we have. Going forward, every business unit will have at least five to six white label solutions from Redington that will be targeted at the SMB and mid-market space. We believe that through these schemes, we will become much closer to our partner community in terms of helping them to become much nearer to the vendors we represent. In addition, through our solutions centre, there will be a lot of information and best practice sharing through this medium.