Australian distributor Rhipe has officially launched a unified professional services and solutions unit, a move it anticipates will bring ‘some conflict’.
The publicly-listed company merged its recent acquisitions of Dynamics Business IT Solutions (DBITS) and Network2Share with its existing solutions business to create a “holistic” offering for partners.
The division will be led by chief commercial officer Warren Nolan, who will take on the role of group executive and be tasked with expanding it across Asia Pacific.
Services up for grabs will span ERP and cloud accounting, customer support, Azure migrations and projects around Microsoft, along with consulting.
Speaking to ARN, Nolan said the move reflected the shift in end-user demands and the ensuing need for partners to work together.
“The reality of the channel moving forward is that we need to partner with each other to augment each other and provide a diverse range of options," he said. "The persona of the partner as the trusted advisor is not what it was in the past: accountants and financial providers are now supplying services in IT.
“Not all partners are geared to provide the type of solutions, implementation and support that we can, so as a result, they can be both the trusted advisor and the conduit of these services.”
However, Nolan acknowledged some of Rhipe’s 3,000 partners would see potential conflict, adding: “The reality is that some of these are ERP providers may see what we are doing as a conflict. But by the same token, they also may need our support-as-a-service.”
He reiterated that Rhipe would remain “true to our channel-first philosophy” and not take the service directly to the end customers.
Rhipe first began delving into solutions and support services in 2014 when it acquired nSynergy, a Microsoft cloud-based services provider.
The decision to formalise this into an official business unit came off the back of growth within Rhipe’s Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) business and support services, which now account for a third of its overall business.
The support unit, which consists of more than 100 engineers based in Manila, Philippines, and around 12 across Australia and New Zealand, will now be used to leverage DBITS’ Microsoft Dynamics solutions and Network2Share’s SmartEncrypt security product.
Nolan’s leadership will be bolstered by former Network2Share CEO Regan McKay, now head of Rhipe Security Solutions, alongside Kris Manché, formerly of DBITS and now VP of Rhipe’s Dynamics 365 Business Central and Wiise.
In addition, Rhipe has also hired Dan Martin as a service delivery manager, a former national service delivery manager for law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Rhipe is now looking at other vendors and ISVs with “synergies” it can bundle into the unit. “We’re saying to partners: we have all these solutions from vendors we offer using your specialities and resources that you have in-house,” Nolan said.
“The market is asking you to ensure you have a diverse range of solutions and you can scale these across your business. It’s about adding diversity, scalability and profitability to their businesses.”