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  • As-a-Service
21 June 2021

XaaS is taking off in Distribution

Industry organisation identifies some of the reasons why the everything-as-a-service approach is becoming increasingly popular.

Computer Weekly / Microscope, June 2021

The Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) has alerted its members that everything as a service (XaaS) poses a significant growth opportunity.

The industry organisation has produced research detailing the benefits of XaaS and the reasons why distribution is increasingly embracing the concept.

GTDC saw cloud in distribution increase by 25% across Europe year-on-year in 2020, and by 27% in North America.

Those offering XaaS are going to find themselves tapping into a willing audience, with IT directors twice as likely to view everything as a service as a stronger alternative to traditional IT.

For distributors, the attraction of XaaS contains numerous benefits that will appeal to value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs), including the fast deployment, easier management and monitoring of new technologies, tighter integration of technologies and lower maintenance, and customisation expenses. There is also increased flexibility and speed in reacting to changing customer needs.

The GTDC research found that distribution had started to react to XaaS, with many adding vendor offerings to their portfolios. There were also signs that many had developed their own platforms that could provide a blend of products that could help the channel meet customer demands.

Distribution was already offering some options, such as warranty support, software-as-a-service (SaaS) provisioning, end of life disposition, security device management, software configuration, and device trade-in and upgrades.

Global changes

Frank Vitagliano, CEO of the GTDC, said the research identified changes that were happening across distribution globally.

“XaaS is transforming the way technology is procured, deployed and utilised, which provides today’s distributors with a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

“By investing in an everything-as-a-service future, our members are ensuring they’re prepared to offer value-added services to both vendors and solution providers for many years and innovations to come. The processes, solutions and business models will evolve over time, but the GTDC’s distributors are committed to collaborating with vendor partners and prioritising investment that facilitates true change,” said Vitagliano.

Anyone with doubts about the research only has to look at recent developments at both vendor and distribution level. The idea of XaaS dominated the recent Dell World event, with the firm promoting its Apex approach to the channel. And t is not alone, with other vendors, including HPE, also ramping up their as-a-service offerings.

Speaking about its plans for Apex last autumn, Dell Technologies’ senior vice-president of product marketing, Sam Grocott, described why the approach made sense. “The as-a-service experience was borne out of the public cloud over the past decade as organisations looked to take advantage of the public cloud to have this as-a-service experience to help them simplify and help give them more agility,” he said.

At a distribution level, most of the major players are making noises about XaaS. Notable examples of firms increasing their focus in this area include Exclusive Networks, with the XoD proposition it launched last year, and Nuvias, which last summer cut the ribbon on its XaaS division, Konekt.