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Nextgen chases growth through enhanced tech portfolio

Nextgen chases growth through enhanced tech portfolio

Aggregator increases vendor and customer base across Australia

John Walters (Nextgen Group)

John Walters (Nextgen Group)

Credit: Maria Stefina

Nextgen is positioning partners towards a refreshed technology portfolio following the addition of 10 new vendors in 2018.

The solutions aggregator increased its vendor count from six to 10 within the space of 12 months, across key technologies such as cloud, software, security, DevOps and data management.

Such an increase follows 25 per cent year-on-year growth across the business, backed up by a customer base boost of 84 per cent.

“Given all that growth, the key is to continue providing that deepened focus to our vendors and partners,” said John Walters, CEO of Nextgen Group. “We’ve been working hard to ensure that any complacency following a strong year is quashed as we gear up for 2019.

“We want to bring vendors to market with the right portfolio to help us realise our vision. We don’t want to be a me too distributor, we want to align to vendors that are best-in-breed and channel-friendly.

“We’re building an ecosystem of vendors and are being recognised for our work. Take DevOps, for example, our work with Micro Focus and CA resulted in bringing on-board GitHub.”

In assessing Nextgen’s portfolio, the suite of technologies now extends from Oracle, SAP, Micro Focus and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to Actifio, Arista Networks, CA Technologies and Concur.

Furthermore, other offerings span Cybereason, Data Synergy, MapR, Rubrik and Skybox, alongside SolarWinds, GitHub, Virtual Instruments and Trilio, alongside the recent addition of Paessler.

“If you look at some of the next-generation vendors we have brought on, that lends itself to a different type of partner,” added Walters, in reference to the aggregator’s expanding partner network.

“But then if you examine the Oracle ecosystem for example, they are changing strategy through the cloud and looking for newer partners also.”

Speaking to ARN on the eve of The Nextgen Leadership Forum in Sydney, Walters said “smart vendors” are switching focus to zone in on quality over quantity, favouring deeper levels of partner engagement through specific enablement programs.

“We’re not talking volume which means that partner enablement is a big focus,” he explained. “A lot of vendors are now investing in key partners, rather than a whole market.

“Nextgen’s services business such as Bang, Optima and Orbus are also opening the door to lots of new partners. We’re bringing in a lot of partners that partner with our other entities, but not necessarily Nextgen Distribution.

“For example, we’ve won a number of deals through Bang and Orbus, and those partners are dealing with vendor sets that Nextgen Distribution doesn’t have.”

Changing channel

As the channel evolves, Walters said Nextgen now sits within a “meshed environment”, moving away from the linear supply chain that has dominated the industry for decades.

“Through the linear model, if you’re not getting a dollar today, you’ll never get a dollar,” he explained. “But through the meshed environment, it’s more so how you position yourself in the market.

“You might not get a dollar today, but you’re positioning yourself for a dollar tomorrow and that’s our approach with Nextgen. We’re focusing on the parts of the mesh that will be our future and continue to add value for our partners in this space.”

In a direct message to the channel, Walters said partner change can only come through “leadership”, calling on those at the top to drive the transition towards a world of cloud, digital and recurring revenue.

“Partners that have the right leadership to drive the right strategy and can execute, they are transforming well in the market,” he said. “Everything is about leadership and our partners are transforming at pace.

“We’re also seeing new partners start from scratch. They are now in the market and are going for it and winning business, such as Katana1, Onel Consulting and Solista. They are having a go in the market and they deserve credit.”

In looking ahead, Walters said Nextgen is focused on reinvesting back into the business, in a bid to capitalise on current and emerging market opportunities.

“The shareholders haven’t taken a cent out of Nextgen, everything we make is going back into the business,” he said. “We’re not done yet because there’s a lot to do in the market.

“We see serious opportunity within our current vendor and partner base that we haven’t maximised yet. At the same time, we’re actively looking for the next period of investment and growth. We’re looking at today and tomorrow.”


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