Tim Ebbeck has joined NEXTGEN as a non-executive director, as the distributor continues its expansion plans across the channel.
Since vacating as Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand at Oracle in June 2016, Ebbeck has spent the past nine months working on boards in director and corporate advisory capacities, advising a range of companies across Australia.
Drawing on over 25 years worth of industry experience, Ebbeck has ran local operations of some of the world’s largest companies in SAP and Oracle, alongside management roles at Unisys, NBN Co and CPA Australia.
Ebbeck joins the NEXTGEN board during a period of growth for the specialist distributor, with the ink barely dry on a “world-first” cloud deal with SAP.
“I had great visibility on the work NEXTGEN was doing during my time at Oracle, and this is a business that understands what a value-added distribution model actually looks like,” Ebbeck told ARN.
“It’s no longer just about distributing products, rather adding real value in the market. NEXTGEN is doing things differently in the marketplace which is helping the business grow both in the short and long-term.”
Despite the continued questioning of its role in the market, Ebbeck believes distribution continues to display strength and longevity, as it moves away from traditional box shipping practices.
Instead, the industry expert believes new value can be found through distribution offering a blend of specialist knowledge, innovative technology platforms and services that enable partners and vendors to stay relevant in the fast-changing world of the channel.
“NEXTGEN has a value-added model that allows resellers to gain a better understanding of the products on offer and how to sell them onto the customer,” Ebbeck explained.
“They have a specific focus and are not trying to be everything to everybody, because when you pursue the volume route in distribution, it just leads to a price discussion.”
For Ebbeck, NEXTGEN has utilised its standing as a specialist distributor across the Australian and New Zealand markets, leveraging its ability to provide deeper levels of service to both vendors and resellers.
“They are always thinking about how they can disrupt themselves,” he added. “When you’re a smaller operation it’s easier to do that and NEXTGEN has the agility to be flexible and chase new routes to market.
“During my time at Oracle, we trialled global initiatives with NEXTGEN because they were different and prepared to try new things.”
Such an approach has been validated through the signing of a “world-first” distribution deal with SAP, designed to fuel the channel’s capacity to grow in the cloud.
As reported by ARN, terms of the deal will see the tech giant offer a two-tier channel model whereby NEXTGEN will establish a dedicated cloud channel for the SAP Cloud portfolio in Australia, including SAP Business ByDesign, SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors.
In addition, the distributor will support existing SAP partners undergoing a transition to the cloud, focusing specifically on the small and midsize businesses segments.
This is the first two-tier channel model for the SAP Cloud portfolio globally, and follows the launch of the PartnerEdge Cloud Choice model in 2016, designed to help partners build and maintain a profitable cloud business.
“I am unique in having run both SAP and Oracle, and it’s clear that NEXTGEN continues to think differently in distribution,” Ebbeck added.
“Across the industry the entire distribution model is changing rapidly with resellers now tasked with thinking about subscription models rather than large upfront deals.”
For Ebbeck, cloud has “already changed the game” in the channel, meaning specialist distributors must create new levels of value around subscription software and generating revenue through new and emerging technologies.
“Large vendors don’t have the DNA to operate across a whole range of resellers and customers, which is why the distribution model remains crucial,” he added.
“This is NEXTGEN’s play, they target appropriate resellers for certain segments and enable them to go to market. It’s real value-add not just the signing of a contract and shipping, it’s actual enablement.”
After leaving Oracle “on a high” following a “strong turnaround”, Ebbeck said plans are now in place to leverage his diverse background and experience, which spans technology, management and governance.
“There’s a lot of work going on inside the business around enabling and planning towards the next level of change,” Ebbeck added. “NEXTGEN has a strong focus on today, but is also looking ahead to tomorrow.”