The trends towards digitalisation offer enormous opportunities for resellers, with software destined to play a bigger role than ever before.
Andre Froneman, software business unit manager at Axiz Advanced Technologies, believes that the software-defined era is here, and that resellers should be looking to expand their businesses into digitalisation, cloud and Internet of Things (IoT).
Froneman’s team looks after Red Hat, Veeam, Commvault and Quest Software. Veeam is an established brand within the Axiz Advanced Technologies portfolio, while the others are still in an incubation stage.
“As the IT world becomes software defined, our job is to look into the business and see where the new opportunities are. So we are looking to grow these software portfolios into the new areas of Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation and cloud computing.”
Froneman is convinced that opportunities abound. “I see my software offerings playing a very big role going forward.”
Open source solutions are particularly well placed, he adds, “Open source is in every IoT device, and forms the basis of many platforms.
“We are gearing up to take advantage of these opportunities, making sure we are not just selling software licences, but IoT solutions.”
The software solutions speak to the overall trend towards digitalisation and Axiz Advanced Technologies’ focus on value-add.
In fact, Froneman’s team has already done a number of proofs of concept (PoCs) on IoT solutions, demonstrating to customers how they can reduce their costs while driving new revenue sources.
One of these is a vehicle service centre that uses RFID tags and CCTV cameras to monitor and manage the progress of a car during servicing, helping to ensure that the correct parts are available and used for the correct car.
Cloud computing is rapidly becoming a reality for organisations in Africa and South Africa, and Froneman is currently working to make all of the unit’s software offerings available through the Axiz Cloud Portal.
“VARs want to strip out the complexity associated with licensing software and simply access in it the cloud. But, because vendors all have their own cloud strategies, we simplify their life by integrating all their services into our portal.”
Advanced Technologies goes further, he says, and invests in the developers and the whole independent software vendor (ISV) community too. “There is a whole unexploited ISV community in South Africa that is doing great things that could be commercialised.
“So we enable ISVs to talk to each other, to share ideas – Advanced Technologies want to be that catalyst.”
The distributor also brings its demo room of top-notch computer systems to the party. “We have all this equipment available, so why can’t the ISV community use it to build new applications?”
As businesses face the challenge of operating 24/7/365, Veeam has pioneered a new market, Availability for the Always-On Enterprise, that helps organisations meet recovery time and point objectives (RTPO) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data.
Veeam Availability Suite, which includes Veeam Backup & Replication, leverages virtualisation, storage and cloud technologies that enable the modern data centre to help organisations save time, mitigate risks, and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs, while always supporting the current and future business goals of customers.
“Veeam is the leading backup vendor for virtual workloads, and it is uniquely positioned to challenge the traditional storage and backup vendors,” says Froneman.
“We see Veeam as having a pivotal role in enabling our virtual channel.”
Commvault’s data protection and information management solutions provide mid- and enterprise-level organisations with a significantly better way to get value from their data.
The solutions can help companies protect, access and use all of their data, anywhere and anytime, turning data into a powerful strategic asset.
Froneman says that Commvault is currently the fastest growing backup and data management vendor in the market.
“They are the number one physical backup vendor and their data management is second to none. We are seeing exponential growth in the global market, and want to achieve the same results in Africa.”
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualisation technologies.
Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services.
As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT.
“We see massive opportunities in the open source environment,” Froneman says. “The platform is very competitive from a cost point of view and tends to be easy to integrate since APIs are exposed.”
Advanced Technologies is actively adding to its open source skills sets, and aims to become more of a strategic player.
“We are in a position we can add value to VARs as well as smaller resellers, providing skills that they might not have.”
Quest Software builds community-driven software solutions that help IT organisations spend less time on administration and more time on business innovation.
It helps organisations to modernise their data centres and get to the cloud quicker, providing the expertise, security and accessibility they need to grow a data-driven business.
“Quest has got huge untapped potential,” Froneman says. “It’s got database, security, analytics – but it is relatively unknown in the South African and African markets.
“I think Quest could be the biggest part of our business within three years. It will take a lot of investment, but we are prepared to make it.”