In early February, Australian listed cloud software distributor Rhipe announced the launch of its SmartEncrypt solution, a security solution to help small- to medium-sized businesses.
In fact, the move was more of a re-launch of a solution by the same name it picked up when it acquired Melbourne software company Network2Share for $5 million in 2019. Since then, it seems, the company has been working on the solution, adapting it to fit its own purposes.
Now, the re-release of the product into the market sees the cloud software distributor begin venturing into territory largely held by independent software vendors (ISVs), although Rhipe has stressed that SmartEncrypt will only be made available via the partner network and channels.
According to Warren Nolan, Rhipe chief commercial officer, the re-release of SmartEncrypt comes as a “natural evolution” from the distributor’s professional services practice.
“SmartEncrypt is the next step in that evolution in terms of taking, developing our own product,” he told ARN. “We always look to try and increase in and augment the value that we provide to the channel.
“We're always open to the opportunity to look at whether it might be the development of a further intellectual property, in other areas or an extension of security products. If we feel something has good potential to resonate with the channel then we would certainly explore it.”
Rhipe is already one of the biggest sellers of Microsoft licences in Australia, driving its most recent half-year profit to $8.8 million.
However, the distributor is now building up its technical capabilities in Australia and New Zealand, now boasting around 30 technical specialists, of which a fifth worked on the SmartEncrypt product. It has also added to its capabilities through acquisitions of New Zealand-based Parallo last year and SmartEncrypt's original maker, Network2Share.
At the time, Rhipe said it planned to bundle the solution with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure and other vendor licences.
“Service providers are looking for more things that they're able to provide to their customers to enable that relationship to, to scale and to strengthen,” Nolan explained. “And as a distributor licensing reseller, we were no different to that. And we are looking for ways that we can add to the stacking of products and services that we can provide our customers.”
Although the threat of the coronavirus pandemic adds a layer of uncertainty, Rhipe is now looking to ramp up activity on its own marketplace, as well as integrating its capabilities with those of Parallo, a Microsoft, VMware and Commvault specialist.
Speaking about what 2021 holds for Rhipe’s partner community, Nolan added: “Moving forward, partners need to need to really identify where they can add value to their customers’ immediate needs and the ability to be able to create a flexible work environment for their business so that partners can adapt and overcome situations like the one we just experienced.
“And to be able to do that, I think it's becoming more important that you provide multiple strings to your bow in terms of what you take to market.”