The 3-Step Approach to Digital Transformation for IT Distributors

The era of the anything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy has sparked groundbreaking transformation in the way technology is procured and sold. As a result, distributors are going digital. Enterprise clients prefer subscription-based contracts for their IT and technology services, and consumption-based business models have been steadily gaining ground across the entire enterprise tech stack. For example, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or hardware-as-a-service (HWaaS) solutions are increasingly common.

The exponential proliferation of the XaaS economy presents distributors with an incredible opportunity to diversify current business models with new digital services sold on a subscription basis. This transformative growth potential is creating a new breed of hybrid distributors who are complementing traditional transactional services with products and services sold by consumption. In fact, their current role as providers of hardware for infrastructure, enterprise applications and workplaces means distributors are primed for success – if they can master cloud sales.

The pathway to new cloud sales can be complex, but it can be achieved with a new approach in three successive stages.

1) Create or expand a digital solutions catalog

The anything-as-a-service (XaaS) economy demands the latest solutions. These increasingly come in the form of ‘bytes’ rather than boxes. To excel in the delivery of digital products, distributors will first require a comprehensive digital solutions catalog.

Some distributors may already have a product catalog, and others are yet to begin. Either way, the ability to offer a broad range of solutions is key to progress. As such, integrating vendors on a case-by-case basis risks slowing time-to-revenue and impacting the pace of growth. Equally, manual processes related to order fulfillment, billing and delivery create operational roadblocks that are avoidable given the cutting-edge capabilities that cloud delivery platforms can provide.

The popularity and variety of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions – such as those offered by Microsoft and Azure – offer an ideal starting point and will create a robust foundation for any digital product catalog. Whether in the initial stages of creation or looking to diversify the solution offering further, CloudBlue’s product catalog offers access to the latest solutions from over 200 market-leading vendors to help distributors build a competitive catalog without delay. Distributors can also gain a significant early advantage via CloudBlue’s automated ordering and fulfillment solutions that reduce reliance on manual processes and help to boost operational efficiency.

2) Create a XaaS marketplace

With an active catalog and new recurring revenue streams in play, it’s time for distributors to move into stage two and create their own XaaS marketplace in order to streamline procurement, fulfillment and billing processes with resellers and partners.

Distributors are well accustomed to the impact of steep operating costs on final margins, therefore XaaS marketplaces are likely to be particularly attractive given their ability to offer hyperscale growth. After an initial investment, XaaS marketplaces allow distributors to expand their market reach – and revenue potential – almost exponentially, without creating a comparable increase to overheads.

The opportunity is clear. More than 70% of the channel’s resale revenue is sourced through distributors, with the volume capabilities and value-add opportunities that channel distributors bring to the table being invaluable to short-term and long-term channel success. That said, these attractive gains will only come to fruition when distributors prioritize end-to-end automation. With the right automation technologies in place, distributors will ensure their XaaS marketplace is primed to scale and is able to service a higher number of contracts, maintain business standards and ensure operational costs remain manageable.

3) Expand through channel partners

Finally, through a powerful commerce engine, distributors can enable their partners and resellers by creating their own branded storefronts. Distributors can publish a custom catalog with their own services and bundles in multiple languages, currencies and billing models and offer their resellers the ability to operate in any language or currency.

Once the basic foundations and digital solution marketplace are established, distributors can look to develop a robust ecosystem of specialized channel partners. In this way, they can unlock the ability to offer the latest hybrid cloud services, such as networking, productivity, or cybersecurity solutions to curate different listings according to the reseller location and truly respond to their local market requirements.

Transform business operations and create new cloud revenue

With CloudBlue, distributors can grow their cloud catalog, build marketplaces and expand into new service-driven business opportunities. For more insights, check out the latest whitepaper – From Boxes To Bytes: Why IT Distributors Are Transforming into Enterprise Cloud Providers.

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Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion. Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles. Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.

Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Uddhav guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Uddhav has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

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