Queensland-based power protection value-added supplier Uptime Systems has added a new element to its protection play, striking an Australian distribution agreement with cyber security services consulting firm Layer 8 Security.
In the three years since its founding, Uptime Systems has focused on distributing uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) systems, power protection and IT technology products and services to partners and customers across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Established in September 2018 by former CyberPower Systems' general manager Brad Andrews, the company signed US-based cooling solutions vendor Tripp Lite as its third vendor in 2019.
The deal saw Uptime Systems claim to be the first distributor to offer Tripp Lite solutions in Australia, with the partnership extending into New Zealand, Pacific Islands and the Philippines.
The company’s new deal with Layer 8 Security, also based in Queensland, builds out its portfolio in a seemingly new direction, but it still ties in with the power protection play the company already focuses on, according to Andrews.
“It is in line with our main product focus, which is protection for clients, in this case the security of our clients’ assets,” Andrews told ARN. “And that goes hand in hand with the power protection side of what we do, with Tripp Lite. But in this case, we’re providing security protection.”
Layer 8 Security bills itself as a cyber security consulting, advisory and technical services firm that provides a customised training approach for each individual within an organisation based on their security profile, encompassing their behaviour, attitude, and knowledge towards security.
While the company’s services may not be typical distributor fodder for the channel, Andrews is clear that there is a need for the kind of services provided by Layer 8 among the organisations that make up partners’ client base.
“The human factor is an important part of the security profile,” Andrews said. “This service might be a little different to the traditional security offering, but to be able to provide the training [Layer 8 offers] is valuable to government and legal firms, for example, where it’s an important factor for them.”
From Andrews’ perspective, the Layer 8 Security offering, while carried out directly to customers by the provider, should be considered part of a broader service play around asset protection for partners, with channel players involved in such work able to include it in their kit bag of tools to draw upon for customers.
“To deliver the service, there would need to be that direct customer work, but we channel that work through the partners, and we are channeling through, ” Andrews said.
“We’re looking for bespoke solutions to offer our channel partners, and this one is an important factor for a lot of organisations moving forward, and we want to help the channel deliver that to their end clients.”
For Jesse Dehaan, Layer 8 Security managing director, the new distribution agreement solves the problem of scale for the company, not on the delivery side, but on the sales side.
"Being a small company, on the sales front, that's where we have the big issue of scalability," Dehaan told ARN, noting that the company has the delivery capability to service large enterprises comfortably. "But with the channel partners, [sales] is where we can scale."
Indeed, Layer 8 has been working towards a more channel-focus approach to the market for a while, with the company currently using a mix of channel and direct engagements. However, Dehaan hopes that Layer 8 can eventually be largely channel-first in its go-to-market strategy, which already involves a partner program.
For partners, Dehaan notes that Layer 8 has the potential to augment the value-add play that is so important in driving up margins for partners.
"Everything we do is a service, we touch zero product," Dehaan said. "So, when it comes to adding value, we can bring the offer of remediation and, through the consultancy process, flag areas customers didn't know they needed work done.
"It's a very easy conversation partners can have with their customers. We can assist the resellers and help them on the sales process too," he added.