​How rhipe is running riot in the Microsoft cloud

“If you look at our heritage, we’ve always been a bit different.”

“If you look at our heritage, we’ve always been a bit different.”

But for rhipe CEO, Dom O’Hanlon, thinking differently stands tall as the key contributor to the cloud distributor’s success across Australia.

“What we do is still different to what traditional distributors do,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s all subscription based and we’re competing against big companies.

“We only focus on subscription licensing, we only charge for consumption and it’s all delivered through a digital platform.

“That’s unusual because even today, most traditional distributors are still all about warehouses and forklifts, that’s not our business. Think about what Netflix or Spotify have done to the traditional distribution of CDs or DVDs, why can’t software be like that?”

With the rhipe model expanding both locally and globally, the ASX-listed company took home three Microsoft Australia Partner Awards (MAPA) at the tech giant’s 2016 Australia Partner Conference, spanning licensing, marketing and distribution.

For O’Hanlon, rhipe’s trio of awards are “testament” to the distributor’s cloud-focused strategy in the market, while also reflecting the priorities of Microsoft going forward.

“Microsoft supports the way we run our business and the direction we are heading in terms of digital distribution,” said O’Hanlon, speaking to ARN on the ground in Gold Coast.

“We are well-positioned to help Microsoft reach revenue targets because we are the number one Microsoft partner in APAC driving cloud services.

“In Australia we’re a SPLA partner - it’s our history - and we’re also an LSP and an Indirect CSP. We’re here to help partners deliver whatever shape cloud their customers’ want, and build profitable cloud businesses.”

Rhipe’s recognition follows twelve months of financial expansion, with the distributor gaining momentum through a string of public cloud subscription licensing programs such as Microsoft 2 Tier CSP, VMware vCloud Air and IBM Softlayer.

In reporting $143 million in revenue for 2016, rhipe’s 32 per cent growth was largely in part due to the distributor’s appointment as a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider.

As reported by ARN, investments made in new vendor programs, such as the Microsoft 2 Tier CSP Program, resulted in a revenue run rate of more than $8 million within a year of commencement.

“Cloud is at the very core of who we are,” he added. “It is part of our DNA. Everything we do is about driving consumption of subscription- based services.”

“We’re going along strongly and are tracking at around 60,000 seats on CSP,” he added. “That represents an increased run-rate business of about $9-plus million dollars in revenue from a standing start.”

According to O’Hanlon, CSP represents an extension of what rhipe has already done within the local channel.

“For most companies this represents a radical shift, moving away from charging up front for software that might become shelf ware,” he explained.

“Our business model has always been based around only paying for what you consume and CSP remains a logical extension.”

Currently, rhipe is ranked number seven globally for its work within CSP, which for O’Hanlon, vindicates the company’s laser focus on cloud growth.

“Not many distributors can say they are in the top ten for anything and we’re proud of that fact,” he added.