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Channel launches continue with XTECH and D|Ops Digital

A worldwide pandemic has not dampened the entrepreneurial spirit in the channel, with a couple of well-known figures choosing to strike out with startups

Business as normal it might not be right now, but the coronavirus has not stopped some of the day-to-day features of the channel continuing.

There have been acquisitions, partner programme launches and some vendors have managed to complete funding rounds that will give them more resources to bolster their indirect activities.

It has also been a time when startups emerge as some brave souls take the plunge with a fresh business venture.

The human touch

One of those is the former founder of LAN3, Steve Thompson, who has cut the ribbon on XTECH, an intelligent cloud solutions and services provider.

The ambition of the startup is to bring a more human-focused approach back to the channel and react to the way customers have changed.

“I loved the journey at LAN3 and am extremely proud of what I achieved working alongside some great people,” said Thompson, founder and director of XTECH. “But I felt it was time to move on to a new challenge.

“The technology world was changing. The way organisations were consuming IT was changing. And the way that technology buyers wanted to be sold to was changing. That’s why I founded XTECH, a new generation of IT reseller for the intelligent cloud era,” he added.

XTECH has been in stealth mode and has emerged with a vendor portfolio that is geared around next-gen security, unified communications as a service (UCaaS), cloud networking, managed wireless and software-defined networking (SDN).

“I believe future business success won’t be determined by how big you are, but by how smart you operate. If you deliver great customer experience, the bottom line will look after itself”
Steve Thompson, XTECH

To support customers, the firm has created a network of accredited and validated experts that form its “X-Alliance” so the firm can provide an “engineer as a service” to customers.

“I believe future business success won’t be determined by how big you are, but by how smart you operate,” said Thompson.

“If you deliver great customer experience, the bottom line will look after itself. In recent years, the IT sector has become sterile and intense, giving rise to questionable sales and marketing techniques such as pushy, persistent selling and interruption-based marketing. It’s time for a mindset change, to engage with customers in the way they want, when they want, and how they want. Let customers drive their own destiny. Above all, it’s time to make IT fun again,” he added.

Delivering DevOps success

Another name familiar with the channel, Ben Boswell, former European head of WWT, has also decided that now is the time to take the plunge and start something fresh.

Boswell has become co-founder and CEO of D|Ops Digital, which specialises in delivering DevOps and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) consulting to customers looking to accelerate the speed of their software delivery pipeline.

“In a recent survey, IDC found that over 77% of companies are beginning to adopt a DevOps strategy, however as many as 87% are disappointed with the results. Why? Because driving performance improvement within this key area of the business is challenging to say the least. Current toolchains, processes, code, compliance, lack of standardisation; all add complexity and make bringing together the people to implement effective and sustainable change critical,” Boswell wrote in a blog post announcing the launch of the business.

“Our approach, with a firm focus on solutions from our partners at GitLab and HashiCorp, allows us to understand [customers’] current teams and environment before delivering an ‘enterprise-ready’ solution and enabling teams to sustain a successful DevOps practice,” he added.

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