Tech Data Canada has brought the Tech-as-a-Service subscription financing model its U.S.-based parent launched earlier this year to Canada, and it expects it to be a significant model for the distributor and its customers in the future.
Launched Stateside in January, TaaS aims to bring together endpoint computing devices, software, and services together for end users to purchase on a monthly subscription basis — a flat rate per month that covers much of a customer’s endpoint and infrastructure needs.
The distributor launched the program in Canada April 1, and is making it a highlight of this year’s round of its Business Builder Tour, said Manal Gurguis, director of endpoint solutions at Canada. She noted that analyst firms figure that over the next few years, as much as 30 per cent of technology devices worldwide will be sold on a subscription basis.
“That’s a huge number, and that’s consistent with what we’ve seen in the consumer environment, where a lot of the devices we buy are bought on a subscription basis,” Gurguis said.
The distributor positions TaaS as an option for engagements of 10,000 or more, and Gurguis said it can scale “to an enterprise solution” level easily.
For the end user, the financing model allows easy growth — of course, any distributor or solution provider will happily add additional devices or capacity to the subscription — but it also includes the ability to flex downwards, contracting by up to 15 per cent should need be for the customer, although Gurguis notes that the ability to “flex up” on demand reduces the likelihood customers will overbuy in the first place.
Because solution providers get paid up front for most components of the subscription package, TaaS represents an easier path for a solution provider with a more traditional project- or deployment-based model to get involved with an XaaS-type subscription package.
“There’s no need for you to change your business model. When the sale is done at the beginning, you get the payment up front,” Gurguis said.
The only portion not paid up front is any ongoing service portion of the subscription, which is paid out on as they’re billed. The Tech Data TaaS model includes the ability to support Tech Data-, partner-, or third party-delivered services within the subscription.
Although the program launched just over a quarter ago in the U.S., Gurguis said there’s been one major thing they’ve learned from the U.S. launch already — be prepared to go fast.
“We’ve learned we need to scale up our resources. We need more people to manage the demand because there’s an amazing level of interest,” she said. “It’s a pretty simple quoting process that we start with, and we’ve had overwhelming response already.”
The distributor already has a staff member dedicated to the program, as well as training its sales team on how to present the model.
TaaS is an endpoint accompaniment to Tech Data’s Capacity Now program, inherited form its Avnet Technology Solutions purchase, which offers enterprise infrastructure (predominantly cloud-based) on a consumption basis through the distributor.