Hitachi Data Systems has appointed Avnet as the national value-add distributor for a new Cloud partner ecosystem - Avnet Cloud Connect.
Avnet will distribute Hitachi Cloud Services Connection program (HCSC) in Australia under the brand Avnet Cloud Connect.
The partnership will see the two companies join independent software vendors and alliance partners to help a growing number of resellers and systems integrators to exploit the massive opportunity presented with Cloud, without making a large capital investment or taking on unacceptable risk.
The first partners to join the new ecosystem are Availability Solutions, Perfekt, and Gammer Group.
HCSC is a white-labelled cloud service that is hosted in Australia and lets partners re-brand and resell cloud services as standalone offerings or integrate them with professional or managed services.
The new offering will rival the economics of the public cloud while offering enterprise-grade service level agreements (SLAs), security, scale-out architecture, and self-service, according to a company statement.
Avnet Cloud Connect allows partners to tailor their cloud offerings to specific market demographics and verticals.
Cloud models range from hosted private clouds and virtual private clouds to software as a service (SaaS).
Hitachi Data Systems director, industry and alliance solutions, A/NZ, Phil Teague, told ARN one Hitachi's primary goals over the past 12 months had been to transform the business to a partner-centric one.
"Investment of dollars and time is no longer required around the build out of infrastructure for resellers," he said.
"This will give resellers the opportunity to develop true bottom line profitability."
Teague said Hitachi Cloud Services Connection went well beyond today’s cloud service by offering businesses the benefits of the public cloud but with none of the risk.
"It uses an ITIL-certified, low latency, and local data centre architecture with strong support,” he said.
“By teaming with Avnet, we allow partners to build their own differentiated cloud offering around Avnet Cloud Connect to present their customers with a viable alternative to the public cloud.
"This is particularly important as more Australian businesses seek assurance on data security, privacy and regulatory compliance delivered from an onshore location.”
Avnet vice president and general manager, Darren Adams, said “Avnet’s partnership with Hitachi Data Systems was a great opportunity for our partner community to take advantage of a rapidly growing space.
“Avnet Cloud Connect allows partners to go to market in a fast, flexible and affordable way," he said.
"The need to outlay large capital sums in order to build their own cloud services offering is removed as partners can leverage the current investment made by both Avnet and Hitachi Data Systems.”
The new offering is utility-based, pay-per-use model. The self-service portal’s chargeback function allows service providers to invoice customers for usage with a monthly billing cycle.
It uses Hitachi technology in areas such as infrastructure management, converged and content management.
This is backed up by professionally-certified Hitachi Data Systems service delivery experts and all-hours support to offer a unified approach to cloud services.
Avnet and Hitachi Data Systems have already carried out a number of Cloud Connect enablement sessions with select partners.
Held in Brisbane and Sydney, the sessions focused on winning business by driving consumption of Hitachi Data Systems infrastructure, enabling sales forces to deliver the cloud value proposition, and gaining a clear advantage in the competitive cloud market place.
Hitachi chief technologist, A/NZ Cloud solutions, Sam Houston, said the partnership went well beyond a distribution deal.
"We have got the traditional channel, but we also have alliance partners and a lot of ISVs. It's about creating this Cloud partner ecosystem," he said.
"Up until now a lot of people in the channel have looked at Cloud as a threat.
"A lot of the smaller companies are having trouble competing with those big guys.
He said the creation of Cloud Connect would bring resellers a lot of advantages.
"It will allow them to compete in that Cloud marketplace and create appealing offerings that align with their core strengths," he said.
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"This could be backup, data recovery. It's all about selling rather than building a solution. It's been very well received."
Avnet Cloud Connect Services’ secure, locally hosted offering includes Infrastructure-as-a-Service; virtual server and Storage, virtual desktop, Cloud storage (File Service), online backup.
It also includes content-as-a-service, software-as-a-service (Microsfot sharepoint hosting).
Teague said the key message he really wanted to get across to the channel was that Hitachi was really transforming its business to a parnter oriented business.
"We are highly excited and we think it's going to create new business and opprotunities for us and our partners."