Small and medium business (SMB) resellers have historically been excluded from offering their customers enterprise-level solutions because they lack the necessary skills and certifications.

Now Tarsus Distribution is stepping into the gap to help SMB partners compete in this space by offering installation and startup services for HP Enterprise (HPE) servers.

“We aim to be a one-stop shop for all our partners,” explains Werner Herbst, GM: enterprise product range at Tarsus Technologies. “We know that our Tier One partners are relatively self-sufficient and can help themselves when it comes to technical skills, being able to specify, purchase and install solutions for their customers.

“However, it is our responsibility to help develop the SMB partners, those smaller resellers who are up and coming. One way we are doing this is by providing them with a full service that they can offer to their customers.”

SMB resellers are the growth engine of the channel, Herbst adds, with both Tarsus and HPE keen to develop these partners and help them achieve their full potential.

“SMB partners often have to walk away from large deals because they are not confident they can specify the solution correctly and could end up losing money if they get their quoting wrong.

“Now we are encouraging them to embrace those opportunities, and we will help them with the pre-sales consulting, designing the solution architecture, and creating a bill of materials for the solution. We will then bring in the stock, install the solution and start-up the implementation on their behalf.

“Throughout this process we will wear the partner’s hat, providing a complete solution to their customer.”

The new service extends the help that Tarsus has traditionally offered its resellers.

“We have always offered pre-sales consulting, but we are now extending this to include installation and startup for HPE servers, holding our partners’ hands for the whole journey.”

HPE has certified Tarsus to offer the new service to all of the distributor’s enterprise development and SMB partners who have not yet gained silver or gold partner status.

It’s just one way that Tarsus is working with vendors and partners to improve the local channel environment.

“When we motivated for this service, it was a combination of HPE wanting to introduce it to the market, and Tarsus wanting to take it on,” says Johannes Groenewald, GM of Tarsus Distribution.

“We had the appetite because it fits in with our strive and philosophy to be a trusted advisor – to be a distributor that sells solutions rather than just hardware kit.

“Our aim is to create more sticky, tangible and long-lasting partnerships between resellers and their end users, so they can be a trusted adviser, with Tarsus supporting them.”

Herbst adds that too often the distribution landscape in South Africa falls short of what vendors want to achieve, and adding services like the HPE installation and startup offering go a long way to changing this.

“Tarsus has been seen to be doing well in developing smaller partners to be more competitive with large resellers. The vendors also want to develop these partners, so if we can help to enable them to offer complete solutions, we all win.”

Sindi Khumalo, Config Centre – Service Manager at Tarsus Technology Group, comments: “HPE installation and startup will be a value-added services to our customers as we have qualified team of technicians and salespeople who will be working hand-in-hand to make sure that we provide the best service as per customer requirement and offer the best technical solution.”

The distributor will offer the new HPE installation and startup service in South Africa initially, but will roll it out into other South African Development Community (SADC) countries over the next months.

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Sindi Khumalo


Werner Herbst