Software King of the World, Microsoft, is auditing its partners and sorting out the sheep from the goatees.
Request for proposals (RFPs) were sent out to existing and new distributors last Friday covering much of the software Microsoft puts through distribution especially its full packaged products (FPP), OEM Windows, OEM server and electronic software delivery (ESD) products.
At the moment, Vole uses Tech Data, Ingram, Westcoast, Exertis and Entatech but now it is thought that Microsoft wants its distributors to reflect its recent move into hardware and changes to its business model.
VIP and Ci Distribution have received an invite to bid which could suggest a widening of the distribution channel, or that some big names might be culled.
Ingram and Tech Data recently lost out in a similar review Microsoft completed for its hardware accessories business, which includes mice and keyboards. In that case there were seven distributors were invited to bid for this franchise but only Exertis and Westcoast were successful.
HP said that its distributor and partner Westcoast will use its Converged Cloud offering to woo the reseller base.
The investment is over £1 million and will mean Westcoast will offer its resellers cloud services, to manage Microsoft Lync, Exchange and SharePoint in the distributors’ IL3 data centre.
The move, said HP, means that Westcoast customers – that is to say its resellers – will be able to use current credit lines as well as take part in a partner programme which includes training and support.
Duncan Forsyth, Westcoast’s MD said that the era of onsite IT is becoming IT in the cloud. “We want to support both,” he said. HP Converged Cloud will let his company deliver IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and SaaS (software as a service) for resellers with a minimal need for capital investment.
The system will effectively be based on HP products including Proliant Bladesystem c7000 enclosures with BL460c Gen 8 blades using Intel Xeon chips. The system will also use SoreServ storage systems, HP tape libraries and HP 5400 Switch series.
HP exec Michael Clifford said that managing and using data centres “frighten many resellers” but using its systems will help resellers to see clearly through the mists of the cloud and offer quality cloud services.