Exeed set to unveil new cloud services…

Exeed will be bringing new cloud services and a new managed print option to market in the coming months, along with a focus on Apple for the commercial channel.

That’s the word from Justin Tye, Exeed managing director, who says business is going ‘really well’ for the traditionally low key distributor.

More than a year down the track from its acquisition of Renaissance’s distribution business, Tye says: ‘We look back now and say it was a smart move. It’s a bigger business combined now than when we acquired it.”

The acquisition and continuing growth has seen Exeed take second slot in New Zealand distribution, though Tye says that was never a driving reason for the purchase. “We wanted to spread our risk, so that’s gone well.

“And some of the agencies that have come along around the edges of it, like Belkin and Ruckus have been fantastic agencies. We’re very happy with that.”

He says Exeed spent the best part of a year building a retail team for the Apple brand and figuring out how to wrap the accessories business around the offerings so it makes Apple a good brand to distribute financially.

Now, he says, the goal is to translate Apple’s strong retail proposition to the commercial channel, where he believes there is plenty of potential and a good story to tell.

“It has been held back from a fairly narrow focus in terms of channel representation and a channel that could do with more exposure to the whole solution stack that Apple have.

“There’s a good story to tell for the small business, but is [Apple] generally being used by small business? No. There is broad appeal for the technology in the commercial channel,” Tye says.

“Apple’s [commercial] channel could probably benefit from being a little broader than it is today. And Apple are good at taking this feedback on-board and pointing us to examples across the Tasman where companies have done a good job of developing verticals that are perhaps still untapped in New Zealand,” he says.

“They can do bespoke stuff around application development that is quite clever, but equally, there’s any number of [business] apps that you can access right now. And they are cloud-based and inexpensive. It’s relatively easy to access the applications, there’s a huge array of choice and the cost to the business to use them is comparitively low.”

Cloud and MPS

Tye is coy about the company’s plans for new cloud services, saying only that the distributor is ‘actively developing a strategy there’ and working closely with HP on it. An announcement is expected in a couple of months, with the company also ramping up its Infrastructure-as-a-Service push.

Exeed has been offering Iconz Webvisions Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering for about a year, but Tye says ‘it’s been a bit of a slow burner’.

He notes that its important not as a distributor not to be seen to be stepping on resellers toes, with many already with their own infrastructure which they are onselling to customers.

“But quite a large number of resellers out there don’t want to invest in this themselves and that’s where we come in as a distributor with the capacity to manage a large number of resellers from a billing perspective, engagement, setup…”

Exeed is also working with HP around managed print with plans to try to capture the channel’s interest in selling print again.

“It is something that over the years, the control of the annuity streams attached to print has been taken away by the office supplies companies.

“The channel themselves are the best people to sell these devices, but they’ve lost interest in doing it. So we’ve got a programme we’re hoping to launch in the next few weeks that at least for SMBs will enough competition to be similar, give them access to suppliers and make some decent money out of them as well.”

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