Published: November 6th, 2017

At a time when delving into next-generation technology markets like cloud, security, Internet of Things, analytics, and mobility can be complicated and expensive, Tech Data is making it easier for customers to move into one of these high-growth areas with a unique new tool.

The company has unveiled its Practice Builder methodology, an offering that will minimize risk and guesswork for its channel partners that want to add new technology to their strategic business.

Practice Builder provides a customized approach “designed to accelerate growth in each technology area,” the company says. The offering has been tested with a select group of customers over the last few months and is now available in Canada and the US for those who meet “established criteria,” which includes investment commitment and established growth metrics.

“As Tech Data strengthens its commitment to helping our customers transition from second- to third-platform technologies on their journeys through digital transformation, businesses are constantly looking for ways to scale their resources, skills and investments efficiently so that they can enhance the overall customer experience,” Jeff Bawol, senior vice president of enterprise solutions in the Americas at Tech Data, says in a Nov. 6 press release. “Our Practice Builder methodology empowers solution providers to build new or enhance existing technology practices that differentiate themselves in the marketplace, allowing organizations to meet goals, sustain revenue growth and offer the right combination of specialized solutions and services to develop a competitive advantage and produce better business outcomes.”

Tech Data says the methodology comprises of five key phases to facilitate success:

  • Strategy Development – Reviews current business and recommends the best ways to move forward using detailed roadmaps of the path to success.
  • Training and Enablement – Maps out training opportunities and affords partner-facing employees the ability to get the certifications and training they need to provide the best possible service to their customers.
  • Marketing – Ensures the development of an integrated marketing strategy through a variety of proven methods to help drive new business.
  • Services – Examines service delivery opportunities, from pre-sales to managed services, to make sure the organization is appropriately staffed to deliver a seamless customer experience—by either using their own resources or incorporating the benefits of white-labeled services from Tech Data.
  • Sales Execution – Focuses on recommending the right tools and support activities to help the organization successfully execute on its strategy.

As an example of a current use-case scenario, Industry analyst firm IDC says that 60 per cent of enterprise IT will move off-premise by 2018 and cloud solutions will continue to displace traditional infrastructure and spending. Tech Data’s Practice Builder can be used by customers to “leverage this trend and extend their capabilities without the ramp-up time and resources traditionally required to develop in-house expertise,” it says.

“The step-by-step approach that Tech Data is deploying in its Practice Builder methodology will help partners more rapidly develop specialization and differentiation while enhancing partners’ growth potential,” Pam Miller, director of infrastructure channels research at IDC, explains. “Great care has also been taken in not overwhelming partners or discouraging them due to the vast scope of knowledge they need to acquire to be successful in these new technologies.”

Customer reaction to Practice Builder has been positive so far. Tim Kinnerup, the vice president of sales at QCM Technologies, a business IT solutions reseller and Tech Data customer, says that the company has received new client business as a “direct result” of the training and enablement sessions it developed using the Practice Builder methodology.

“Our team completed the program, which helped us better understand our target market, and with Tech Data’s service offerings, we were able to leverage that knowledge to identify a significant opportunity at one of our best customers. We plan to dive in even further with Tech Data as we mine for more automation and orchestration opportunities in the future,” he concluded.