Hybrid IT solutions provider CenturyLink, has signed five new partners, rounding up to a total number of 11 partners that can offer the global vendor's cloud platform to Australian enterprises.
These new relationships with AstronTech, DigiCor, Olympus, Oper8, and Regal IT, come off the back of CenturyLink’s first in-market distribution partner, Avnet, that was announced in April, along with the launch of its cloud node in Sydney.
“We are quite unique in the cloud market in this country in having a 100 per cent channel strategy for cloud and that really sets us apart,” said CenturyLink regional director A/NZ, Stuart Mills.
“We are the only VMware-based public cloud in Australia that has global reach, and we could come here and throw the weight around as a big direct vendor, but we decided to do quite the opposite of that and actually work with the Australian IT community, rather than compete with them.”
According to Mills, the vendor has another five more partners “in the wing” which it expects to have on board by the end of March 2017.
In targeting system integrators and managed service providers who support enterprise, Mills said the vendors' ideal partner is a business that recognises they don’t necessarily have the resources to offer an enterprise-class cloud service on their own, and that want a partner that won’t compete with them in the market.
“We don’t want partners to lose their customers to Amazon and Azure, who quite frankly, will come into their customers' accounts whether they like it or not and potentially move workloads out,” he added.
“We would rather be friend than foe, and so we are offering a sell-through model where we will provide the global scale, global technology and innovation on the public cloud, while the partner becomes the go-to-market channel into their loyal customer base.”
Mills added that, ideally, when customers asks their partner, as their “trusted advisor,” to move workloads to a pay-as-you-go model, that partner has the capability in their portfolio and under the banner of their own brand, but with CenturyLink support.
Oper8 sales director, Nick Lovell, said partnering with CenturyLink offers the managed service provider access to a cloud service that allows the business to add geographical diversity to its offering as well as target new customers.
Similarly, for Regal IT managing director, Mark Gluckman, the partnership's ability to offer a complete white box solution that covers services, technical presales, billing, and reporting, allows the business to maintain strong customer service.
“More clients and prospects are asking about cloud services, but the investment required to offer our own cloud solution would create a lot of risk. We chose to partner with CenturyLink because the white label solution lets us maintain a seamless relationship with our customers, while still offering a comprehensive cloud platform,” he said.
Mills added that while the new partner signings are offering CenturyLink extended reach into the Australian market, local partners are creating new use cases including a Citrix integration into the CenturyLink cloud.
“Next year we are accelerating our push through the channel. We will be pushing more business via the channel in Australia than we ever have in the year and a half since we have been operating here,” he added.