Alan Nehemia, Dicker Data NZ's National Sales Manager shares his view on TechX19, a first for the NZ market
I have been reflecting on the success of Dicker Data NZ’s very first TechX in Aotearoa, and as the dust settles, the mahi begins to follow up leads, discussions and social challenge winners.
The most prevalent feelings for me now are relief and satisfaction.
Nine weeks into my role and 25+ years in the NZ ICT industry, I don’t believe that I can recall an industry event quite like TechX which inspired and enabled so many partners and end users in less than three hours!
Many of those that were in attendance have been seeking the presentations from the event – in particular, Marks very focused presentation on the NZ channel. We will be making available an abridged version soon, along with some footage and commentary, however a lot of the IP that Mark shared is TRA’s own and sadly can’t be shared in that format.
The upside is, and as I trawl through my notes and online in the public domain, some clear gold nuggets are presented.
“76% of NZ believe that hybrid cloud is the right approach,” and of course I agree. In discussions in recent weeks with many of our larger partners, I am being told that as high as 40% of new customer workloads will be correctly directed to public clouds like AWS, Azure and Google.
“44% have moved a workload back from public cloud and the key reason is security.” Bobby Jafari, from Sonicwall tended to agree with this at the Regional VIP luncheon held prior to the keynote event. Paraphrasing Bobby’s sentiment, he discussed that many organisations relied too heavily on the ring fence around the public cloud providers themselves, and that considerations needed to be taken around those organisations protecting their workloads, data and applications within the cloud themselves.
Equally, Andrew Fox (HPE Aruba) and Jason Molloy (SE APC) also identified that the swing back from cloud is more of a mature realisation that proper application transformation and readiness for the cloud is the priority over whether or not public cloud is the way to go. It is, plain and simple, where it makes sense.
At the Regional VIP Luncheon, Jason pressed that governance and improved solutions at the edge of the cloud and on prem is often left on the table.
To paraphrase: In NZ we are consistently seeing customers moving to public cloud, and that’s great – but not a lot of focus is on what’s left behind. A lot of our customers have empty racks and old infrastructure running critical applications and gateways that simply can’t or haven’t been made cloud ready. With the right partners we can do something about this!
We are seeing the birth of ‘shadow channels’ and lots of acquisition because:
- The money has moved into marketing, which is being spent on agencies
- People are buying skills to gain them fast enough ‘momentum’ to keep up with the competition
This is very transparent in the unique make up of the NZ channel, whereas the blurring lines and roles of distributors, sub-distributors, partners, MSPs and SaaS providers are blending and consolidating. Just simply doing things differently to service the customer better. Mark called out the recent “mega merge” of the Instillery and Origin IT as an example.
“The most successful partners moving forward will be the ones who become product specialist companies”. This for me is one of the most resonating points discussed. My observation, and in other recent conversations, I am seeing that no longer are there (nor should there be now) partner websites with 100’s of vendor branded logos and pseudo certifications “for attendance”.
At IDC’s Edge event in Australia, Marks colleague, Tim Dillon discussed the idea that the collection of vendor branded awards from years gone by in the reception, are now a graveyard for brands that detract from your own brand and the value that your business represents.
The reason this resonates, is because we are focused on our own brand and the value that Dicker Data NZ brings to Kiwi partners and the end user community as we connect, inspire, enable and educate with our leading vendors.
Therefore, those partners that are refining the spear tip of who they are and what they do are channeling the recipe for success. Clearly defining what it is you are good at and why you are the best in your lane, means customers and the lines of business with tech spend can dis-aggregate the supermarket approach and find more cost effective and personalised services that most kiwi’s love – this is the segment I believe Dicker Data NZ represents in the NZ market.
In summary, I felt TechX in New Zealand was very well received - the format, the focus, the speakers, the vendors and most importantly the number of partners and end users that turned up on the day. The turnout forced us to get the poor folk at Sky City to bring in a couple more rows of seats, and I still had partners telling me… and I quote “It’s not often I can forget that I have been standing for over 2hrs in a keynote, and actually be happy about it!”
With the positive feedback and support rolling in, should we break the chain of being a bi-annual ANZ event for our NZ partners and end user community and bring TechX to NZ again next year? What do you think, let me know.