The company has been building clouds for its customers, including service providers, for quite some time, but sees an opportunity in building a partner base that is building out clouds for their mutual customers – most notably the service provider market.
“We’ve got a global cloud value proposition, with a managed cloud platform, cloud services for Microsoft, and now the OneCloud Partner Program,” said Jere Brown, CEO of Dimension Data Americas.
The program is designed to help service providers, and to a lesser degree “community providers” building out clouds for non-profit customers, build out those clouds faster, and on a global basis if so desired.
At the top levels of the program, Dimension Data offers inclusion in what it calls the Cloud Exchange program, essentially a way for cloud service providers to take advantage of DiData’s global footprint to increase their own geographic footprint. That’s a key feature when dealing with larger service providers, who mostly have their own cloud offerings, but are largely focused on their own home markets, Brown explained.
“Our target is more the tier-two or tier-three providers that need these capabilities, but some of the larger tier-one providers may look to capitalize on our global reach,” he said.
The program comes around as a result of DiData’s increasingly globalized cloud business unit, built on the acquisitions of Australia-based BlueFire and Santa Clara, Cal.-based OpSource. Although it’s been doing it for some time, Brown said Dimension Data is in “early stages” of its cloud journey with partners, looking to build awareness in both the customer base and the partner base.
Likely early Canadian partners include smaller service providers looking to extend the services they can offer, and those looking to expand their own presence across Canada. It’s the same position DiData itself is in – its Canadian presence has largely been focused on Eastern Canada, but Brown hinted heavily at an interest in expanding the company’s footprint into Western Canada.
Darryl Wilson, practice director for Dimension Data Canada, said cloud “is an agenda item” in every customer conversation the company has here in Canada, and the company’s Canadian operations have been “involved in a lot of enablement discussions around cloud.”
But the dawning of the Cloud Partner Program signals a shift for Dimension Data Canada’s relationship with service providers. DiData Canada has done a lot of selling to service providers in its five years in the Canadian market, but the partner program will see the company doing more collaborative selling and selling through service providers. While Wilson acknowledges “it will change the dynamic a little bit,” it’s a familiar role for Dimension Data, which on a worldwide basis sees service providers as both customers and a channel.