Infrastructure software is the driving force behind the data center and Cloud computing, which is why Advanced Technologies has a dedicated business unit with world-class resources focusing on this important area.
VMware, Citrix, Veritas and Rocket Software are the product lines that enable the software-defined data center, says Business Unit Manager Willie Jansen van Rensburg.
“We are transforming our business to cater to the new software-defined, cross-cloud world,” he says. “For customers, the new trends mean a mix of perpetual and consumption-based licensing so the channel has to adopt new business models to remain relevant.”
Jansen van Rensburg believes that software is quickly moving to a consumption-based licencing model where customers pay only for what they use.
However, there are also instance where perpetual licensing is entrenched and unlikely to change any time soon.
“A lot of customers have perpetual licences, but use consumption-based licensing for Cloud or off-premise use.
“So we have to ensure that all our products cater to both models, and we have strategies that are aligned to both. It is important that both models are able to exist and thrive in the same business.”
Jansen van Rensburg believes Advanced Technologies is leading the market in the way it has changed to become more agile. “We have adapted well to the new models and are able to play in the worlds of perpetual and consumption-based licensing.”
Over and above software, the newly-aligned business unit also offers an array of professional services and pre-sales consulting.
“We assist out partners to position themselves in the market, and to find opportunities within their customer base.
“We help them to understand the new world, how to position sales and to identify new opportunities and revenue streams.”
Advanced Technologies goes well beyond most distributors, not just offering technical services but actively helping its partners to sell.
“The reality is that people can’t successfully sell what they don’t know. If we didn’t help them, neither of us would be successful.”
It’s not just about products, Jansen van Rensburg adds. “We help our customers to make digitalisation a reality. So we help them to transform into the new software-defined world so they can stay relevant.”
He describes Advanced Technologies as an enabling partner, with a focus on solutions.
“The word distributor is almost irrelevant in my unit,” Jansen van Rensurg says. “We don’t distribute stuff; we provide sales and technical services.”
The world is changing, he points out, and all the channel players have to change in response.
“We do have hardware, but nowadays the business is more about how we attach software to that hardware, and how we attach software to other software.
“It’s about bringing them together in a digital world.”
For resellers, the journey can be complicated – and it’s one that never ends, Jansen van Rensburg adds.
“It is such a dynamic, fast paced transformation that is happening. Software changes quickly, becoming smarter and more intelligent in a world that drives constant change.
“People don’t necessarily understand that what happened yesterday changed today – and will change again next week. We need to keep up with this fast pace and bring our partners along with us.”
As the world moves to various Cloud models – private Cloud, public Cloud, hybrid Cloud and cross-cloud, Advanced Technologies is building its ability to offer solutions in all these instances, while adding value to its partners and their customers.
“The big message from us is that, although we are the leading distributor of most of the products we offer, that doesn’t mean we can sit back and think that everything is great.
“We can’t relax and are re-investing all the time in certification and sales training, while working even closer with our partners to help them embrace the emerging technologies.”
Jansen van Rensburg points out that his team has a close relationship with all its partners and vendors, and is very proactive in its approach to the market.
“It is very seldom that we sit in a session with a vendor like VMware and are out of synch with their thinking. We are very proactive, which is important if you want to live in a proactive world.”
VMware is the core of Jansen van Rensburg’s business unit, and the distributor is investing in the product line-up, adding staff and resources to ensure it continues to add value to the software giant’s expanded portfolio.
“As a distributor we are re-aligning ourselves with the way we work with VMware, and moving up to the next level to offer the best resources to our channel partners,” Jansen van Rensburg says.
“We are already the leading distributor for VMware for the territory, and we are changing as VMware itself is changing.” Axiz has distributed VMware products for the last 10 years.
Apart from himself, the expanded VMware business unit also includes Jarred Somiah as VMware Product Manager; Victor Rangata as VMware Business Development Manager for South Africa and Africa; Cheslynne Britz as Manager for vCAN as well as Business Development Manager for vSAN, NSX, vRealize and the end user computing solutions including Airwatch; Shimei Jansen van Rensburg, Internal VMware Product Manager and product support; and Themba Bhengu, VMware technical Product Manager and systems engineer.
VMware has moved well beyond being a server virtualisation supplier, Jansen van Rensburg points out, and now supplies solutions that reach into every area of the IT infrastructure and all the way to the end user device and application.
“As the leading VMware distributor in the territory, we are serious about stepping up to the plate, to take VMware’s software-defined data centre (SDDC) to the market.
“With the move to SDDC, which involves technologies like NSX and vSAN, as well as the new focus on cross-cloud computing, there is a lot happening at VMware.
“So we need to add value to the partners, to enable them to take the experience and expertise that we offer to the market.”
Advanced Technologies is a vCAN (VMware vCloud Air Network program) provider, delivering enterprise-class security and infrastructure compatibility based on the same technology as customers’ internal IT infrastructure.
vCAN enables the success of your public Cloud by providing customers with an opex strategy for investing in VMware infrastructure on a pay as you go, pay as you grow consumption model.
The vCAN program is an ideal solution for partners offering hosted services to third parties, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Providers, Cloud Service Providers, Application Service Providers (ASPs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) Providers.
It’s a little-known fact that Axiz has distributed Rocket Software for the last 12 years, so it’s built up a wealth of knowledge and skills.
The software aims to help users modernise their IT systems and extracting value from both legacy and new database systems.
Rocket Software started off as a way to process database queries more efficiently and has grown to solve problems across a broad spectrum of enterprise technology.
The software solutions help to prevent outages, protect data, store data, share data, virtualise data, manage networks, improve service levels, discover insights, modernise applications, access and connect users and applications, minimise risk and increase compliance.
Citrix has also had a long and successful history with Axiz, having been in its stable for the past 11 years.
The Citrix value proposition is around securing, mobilising and optimising application and data delivery as a means of fuelling digital transformation.
Citrix aims to be the leader in Workspace as a Service (WaaS) by delivering the industry’s most comprehensive and integrated platform for secure app, data and network delivery as a service in the Citrix Cloud.
It is already a leader in application delivery, virtualisation and mobility – a position that it intends to keep.
Citrix is also well on its way to becoming a leader in secure network delivery solutions to enterprises, mid-market and strategic service providers.
It is one of the top solutions for enterprise file synchronisation and sharing (EFSS) for business users across all segments.
End users can transition their IT environments to a software-defined infrastructure with Citrix tools that include app virtualisation and virtual desktop interface (VDI); enterprise mobility management; file synchronisation and sharing; and networking.
Jansen van Rensburg says Axiz is particularly excited about Citrix’s NetScaler product stack.
“The new alliance between Citrix and Microsoft Azure is also significant as it will let customers partners with Citrix to run Office 365 and Microsoft’s CSP applications.
“In fact, the Axiz Cloud Platform together with Microsoft CSP and Citrix are a valuable building block for our partners.”
Veritas is the new kid on the Axiz block, having joined the family just a few months ago.
“It is very exciting to be working closely with Veritas to consolidate the SME market and to build a new channel.”
The Veritas product line-up, with names like NetBackup and Backup Exec, should be familiar to IT industry veterans. “A lot of people thought these products had gone,” says Jansen van Rensurg. “But we are working with the Veritas team to build a new channel.”
The Veritas line-up is very much around backup and data management, with 22 products altogether in the stack.
The company claims to offer 360-degree data management. It’s solutions span data protection, with NetBackup, NetBackup Appliance, Backup Exec and Velocity; business continuity, with Resiliency Platform and InfoScale Avalabiity; software-defined storage, with InfoScale Enterprise, Access and Hyperscale for OpenStack; and information governance, with Enterprise Value, Enterprise Vault Cloud, Information Map, Data Insight and eDiscovery Platform.
The 360-degree data management, with protection, availability and insight, means customers can move to a multi-cloud world without having to create new data silos.
This ensure data visibility, compliance readiness, business continuity, data protection, data and workload portability, and storage optimisation.