Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) has become the latest addition to the Advanced Technologies stable, reflecting the value-added distributor’s focus on the data center and infrastructure market.
Since HPE spun off from HP Inc to form a focused enterprise IT supplier, the company has filled out its product line-up with a combination of home-grown and acquired technology to offer solutions across the enterprise spectrum.
Jim Holland, who leads the HPE business unit at Advanced Technologies, explains that the line-up fits into five discrete categories. They are:
Compute – consisting of X86 servers; business-critical servers, including Synergy; and hyperconverged systems, including SimpliVity appliances.
Storage – a full line-up with StoreOnce (disk-based backup) ; MSA (entry-level SAN); 3Par (mid- to enterprise-level SAN); StoreAll (object storage) ; StoreEver (tape backup); StoreVirtual (virtual SAN appliance); Storeasy (NAS); and the newly-acquired Nimble.
Data centre networking – core switching and management platforms (IMC ) including Arista (datacenter software-defined networking).
HPE Aruba – Edge switching and wireless networking solutions that include ClearPass (policy-based access control), Airwave (network device management ) as well as the Aruba cloud-based management suite.
Services – carepack registration and management; contract renewals; maintenance and support registrations; and x86 installation services on behalf of HPE.
Playing strongly in the services portfolio is key for Advanced Technologies growth, Holland says, since it adds resources that our business partners can access.
“I’m excited to say that Axiz has recently been appointed as up as an HPE x86 server installation partner. Going forward we are going to place a lot more focus on this area, and plan to sign up as a storage installation and configuration partner in the near future.”
The distributor has also invested significantly in its demo centre facilities , where partners and customers can see the full range of HPE solutions in action, and even run workloads in an operational environment. The newly-released Synergy product has been launched in South Africa, and there has been a lot of interest from partners and end users.
“As a value-added distributor we have experience in all the different verticals,” Holland say. “In South Africa, we are also the most certified distributor across all the HPE layers.
There are 13 people in the HPE business unit at Axiz Advanced Technologies, he adds, and they boast certification across all the HPE technologies.
The team looks after partners through the full lifecycle, Holland says.
In terms of administration, it deals with managing the integrated quoting process, deal registration and new business opportunities for resellers. It also manages all the processes around the deal, and offers pre-sales and technical skills where they are needed.
“I have very skilled people in my team,” Holland says. “We work with our business partners from deal inception, . We understand the environment, so we can scope the project, spec it, configure it, price it and install it. There is a huge amount of value that we add to the deal.
“We work closely with partners to close opportunities, and present ourselves as the partner.
“Working closely with our vendors is key to our success as a distributor. Understanding HPE’s channel programmes and enabling our partners to take advantage of the extensive benefits is key to growth. – not only ours but our business partners. Understanding some of the complexities and guiding our business partners to gain maximum benefit is crucial.
“We work very closely with HPE to facilitate this process and make it seamless,” Holland says. “We have helped to get rid of a lot of the complexity that resellers used to experience.
“We like to call it distribution redefined.”
Partners can offer integrated systems because Axiz Advanced Technologies and HPE have synergies with software vendors like VMware, Microsoft, Veeam and Red Hat, Docker and SUSE.
HPE has recently sold its software business to UK-based Microfocus. This would make MicroFocus the 4th largest enterprise software vendor in the world
Axiz Advanced Technologies will still distribute the full HPE Software stack, but will be integrating the HPE software products into our MicroFocus portfolio.
“Software was always a bit of a stepchild in the HPE stable,” Holland says. “With HPE’s extensive , world class hardware platforms, Software didn’t have the local focus and support that was required, and thus always seemed to take a back seat. I think that Microfocus is going to enable a new level of focus and I’m excited at the opportunities that this merger will present
“The move extends the opportunity for us and our partners as we now have access to solutions that include big data, analytics, security, authentication and management software.
“We are very excited about where the software business is going and we are putting a lot of resources into it.”
The HPE team has recently moved to the Advanced Technologies division, but much of its business still comes through volume distribution.
The HPE business at Axiz is split into a ‘volume’ and ‘value’ business. “As a broad based distributor, we understand the volume distribution game,” says Holland. “We enable the channel to access our significant stock profile at any time. We very carefully plan our stocking holding across the whole HPE stack and we enable different partners to benefit from our expertise.
“On the other hand, ‘value’ distribution requires a lot of technical and presales involvement, creation of builds and whiteboards and managing a project from end to end.
“When my presales team put together a bill of material, we guarantee the functionality for which it was designed, and take pride in our ability to provide our partners the quality that is expected from a value-added distributor.”
Axiz Advanced Technologies has also made a big investment in its proof of concept and demo centre.
Advanced Technologies ensures that it is closely aligned with HPE’s business strategy and that this is implemented in the local market.
“We have close relationships in every part of the business,” Holland says. “We want to ensure that we are the distributor of choice wherever possible and so we work hand in hand with HPE to make sure we take advantage of every opportunity.
“This is important to us, and we work very hard to make it happen.”
The hard work seems to be paying off: Axiz was once again, named as HPE’s biggest distributor in the region, and was named Enterprise Distributor of the Year in the Channelwise Awards.
Alviva lives what it preaches
Axiz’s parent company Alviva has cast a vote of confidence in the technology it represents, and has chosen Aruba for its own wireless network.
“Alviva has standardised on Aruba’s Clearpass and Airwave from a group perspective,” says Jim Holland, HPE Executive at Axiz Advanced Technologies.
“It’s a great reference site and shows that we live what we preach.”
The installation is quite considerable, covering all the companies within the group across 40 sites in South Africa and Africa.
“This means that just in our group, we have got about 2 800 people accessing the network with Aruba,” Holland says.