The cloud allows resellers to differentiate

The impact of consumer-centric thinking in the business technology sector is undeniable.
For evidence of this, consumers simply have to look at how business focused notebooks are looking more in tune with consumer focused notebooks than they did a couple of years ago; how business networks have begun embracing the convenience of wireless technology; and how corporate IT departments have begun to relax their policies on social media use in the workplace.
“What’s far more interesting, however, is the shape that so called-cloud services have taken on in comparison to what we all envisaged a few years ago,” says Traci Maynard, GM of Tarsus Technologies’ software division.
Before the concept of cloud computing started becoming a reality, it looked as if the only change companies would have to negotiate was a shift from on-premise infrastructure to hosted, off-premise infrastructure.
“However, if we look at how some of the more universally applicable cloud services, such as Microsoft’s Office 365 have come to market, it’s clear that there’s a far stronger focus on user interface than what we would have thought,” she says.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she continues. “The major benefits of cloud, such as the removal of physical infrastructure and the introduction of rental-based financial models are still there.
“It’s just that, because there’s been a far quicker uptake in consumer-focused cloud services than business-centric cloud services, the natural route for delivering many business-centric cloud services will be to emulate what’s happened in the consumer sector,” she says.
Maynard believes this is not an entirely bad thing.
“Apart from it fitting in with the way businesses are treating technology today, it gives resellers a new and interesting approach to pursue in their dealings with customers.”
While Maynard admits that it’s unclear what the final pricing for Office 365 will be when it becomes available in South Africa, the fact that resellers will be able to give their customers a wider range of business technology at an affordable price is exciting.
“It will also mean that instead of managing their customers’ infrastructure, they will rely on a third party such as Microsoft to do it in their stead. Admittedly, while that means they’re earning less services revenue, they should remember that customers will still require their assistance in making the transition to cloud.
“And once the transition has been made, there’s a strong chance that IT budget will be freed up to pursue the kinds of projects the customer has always been intrigued by,” she says.
“It’s a rather challenging mind shift to make, and some resellers will choose to resist it, while others will embrace the change the market is undergoing. Personally, I believe that those resellers resisting the change will fail, since it’s almost inevitable.
“On the other hand, those that embrace it will flourish. And I’m sincerely hoping Tarsus’ resellers fall into the latter category,” she concludes.

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Tarsus Technologies distributes the world’s leading IT hardware brands to the Southern African reseller channel.
Tarsus, a member of the MB Technologies group, was established in 1985 and with close to three generations of operation, it is the longest-established IT distributor in South Africa.
Tarsus is uniquely positioned to meet the channel’s needs for credit funding, stock availability and efficient logistics to ensure that resellers are able to deliver the best possible service, support and overall solutions to their end user customer base at the lowest possible cost. Not only does Tarsus provide excellent service and world-class logistics, it is also committed to the development of the reseller community and its skills.
Royal Bafokeng Holdings is MB Technologies’ controlling shareholder making Tarsus one of the largest black-owned technology groups in the South African market. Tarsus Technologies is recognised as a Level 3 contributor with a BBBEE procurement recognition level of 110%.
Tarsus’ head office is situated in Johannesburg with branches in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Klerksdorp, KwaZulu-Natal, Polokwane and Nelspruit. Tarsus has also extended its footprint into Africa with branches in Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius and a focused sales team services the other territories in Southern Africa from the Johannesburg office.
Tarsus distributes a range of products from the world’s leading manufacturers. For more information visit our website; www.tarsus.co.za.
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