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Exclusive Networks launches X-OD

Distributor makes its subscription platform available in the UK to help resellers deliver flexible services to customers

Exclusive Networks has cut the ribbon on its X-OD offering, giving resellers access to a platform that will give them an option to consume technology as a service.

The distributor is keen to point out the differences between its X-OD offering and a marketplace, the approach taken by most of its rivals.

“We work with many vendors and we see the dynamic again and again of the vendor evolving into subscription,” said Julien Antoine, evp strategy & operations at Exclusive Networks.

Antoine said X-OD had been built around three pillars – transforming everything into subscriptions, digitising the value chain, and customer satisfaction – and it differed from a marketplace in that it was an end-to-end solution.

“It’s an end-to-end platform and X-OD is the first time ever that a distributor is packaging vendor offers,” he said. “We are creating our own offers that we have constructed with the vendors and with the resellers to fit the end-user needs.

“X-OD is the culmination of over 12 months’ development working alongside countless vendors, resellers and end customers to address the needs of the entire value chain for subscription-based alternatives across all products and services.”

The platform has been designed to offer resellers flexibility with the consumption options and will cover hardware, software and assets, on-prem or in the cloud, with a subscription model.

Jesper Trolle, CEO of Exclusive Networks, said: “This is all about taking the burden and the risk away from our vendors and our partners to accelerate their move to the new consumption-based models that customers have come to demand.”

Trolle said subscriptions now accounted for about 20% of the distributor’s revenues, but he hoped X-OD would take that up to 50% in the next couple of years.

The distributor has been running pilots over the summer in the UK, France and the Netherlands, trying out the platform with support from Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint and Google Cloud’s Chronicle, which are also on the service from launch.

“All top 10 vendors are really having intense discussions with us and more should be coming soon,” Trolle added. “We are all optimistic that we can have most of our portfolio onboarded into X-OD in the coming quarters.”

X-OD has been launched in the UK, France and the Netherlands with plans to add further European countries over the next few weeks and months.

Antoine said: “In the coming weeks and months, we will be announcing new countries and we are working on a global roll-out and we are going to announce more offers and features on the platform.”

From a partner point of view, there were also lessons learnt during the pilots over the summer, and Exclusive hopes that most of the resellers working with it will start using X-OD.

“During the pilot phase, we learned a lot and we addressed SME partners and we addressed specialised partners and GSUs, and all of them, for very different reasons, were convinced about the value proposition,” said Antoine. “So I believe a significant chunk of our partners will be interested to work with this model and even more because it takes out the capex burden.”

Barrie Desmond, svp, marketing and communications at Exclusive Networks, added that the current situation had underlined the need for resellers to be able to offer customers choice.

“If the experience of the last six months has taught us anything, it is that you have to have multiple ways of consuming your product or service, this omnipresent proposition, whether it’s on-prem traditionally acquired or if it’s as a service on demand or on the cloud,” he said. “Our partners are telling us that they need to have that third or fourth component to address the needs of the market.”

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