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BigTec challenging channel finance models

BigTec has become well known for taking a different approach to providing solutions through distribution and is now looking at changing things on the commercial front

Whenever vendors talk about 'digital disruption' they roll out the same examples of Uber and Airbnb and then tend to run out of steam because their bank of impressive names to drop has been exhausted.

While they wait for a few more firms to come along and change other industries there are some other places closer to home that might provide some inspiration.

Distribution has been a tier of the channel that has had to adapt as a result of the cloud and the pressure to add value and is a very different animal now to what was on offer five years ago.

Catching up with BigTec provides an insight into just how some parts of distribution are changing their approach to ensure that resellers not only have access to the right kinds of products and solutions but also can do so without taking a huge amount of risk.

The channel player was at Cloud Expo last week with a target to speak to plenty of users to pass on the leads to resellers. This year's appearance is one of several it has made in the last three or four years, when it turned up to share its vision of a different approach to distribution.

The main difference has been that rather than supply the reseller with a menu of potential vendors and products the channel player pulls together various technologies that it has as a result of supplier relationships and develops solutions.

That is still something that BigTec offers but the firm's managing director Jason Dance knows that it has to extend value in other areas as well, particularly on the financial front.

"Commercially if you think about the way that end users have consumed IT we have wotrked in a transfer title, as a distributor we have invoiced the reseller who has invoiced the end client. As a result 100% of the future value of the equipment the risk sits with the end pipe. What we are hearing is that the end user is looking for greater agility and someone to share in the risk," he said.

The problem is that traditionally neither the vendor, reseller or distributor is geared up to share in that risk because current models do not lend themselves to change.

"Commercially if we are going to be able to compete with the public cloud then we need to be able to mitigate an element of the risk for the end pipe," he added that it had to take some inspiration from the car market where a number of different components were combined and made available to customers to pay for by a lease or in a lump sum if they chose to do so.

The other advantage of a car is that it is possible to measure the performance and price per mile and customers would like the same for their technology.

"What we are looking at doing is moving away from the dispate vendor part numbers and moving into a single unit of measurement, which is likely to be the virtual machine," he said.

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