Exclusive Networks plans to build out its X-OD subscription platform beyond Europe and into the Asia Pacific region by the end of the year, with the distributor seeing eager uptake of its on-demand, subscription-based delivery platform for vendor solutions and professional services.
The France-headquartered value-added distributor unveiled its X-OD platform in October last year, branding it as the online delivery channel for all Exclusive Networks cyber security and infrastructure products and services.
X-OD – short for ‘Exclusive Networks On-Demand' – is designed to make the transition to subscription-based consumption fast, safe and simple for partners and their customers. Moreover, it gives vendors that are not currently subscription-based the ability to derive subscription-based revenues.
“Until now, few reseller partners have been able to capitalise on the market forces driving vendors and customers relentlessly to an ‘everything-as-a-service’ world,” Exclusive Networks CEO Jesper Trolle said when the platform was first unveiled. “X-OD makes it easy for them to fast-forward transformation to subscription-based consumption.
“X-OD is a digital platform capable of turning virtually anything into a subscription, simplifying consumption and enabling new services and bespoke bundles to be created, sold and provisioned at speed and scale. X-OD allows vendors who are not currently subscription-based to derive subscription-based revenues.
“And there is no cost or risk for partners to onboard and begin transforming to new on-demand business models that they can promote under their own brand, with their own proprietary services and even beyond the vendors in the Exclusive Networks portfolio,” he said at the time.
Pilot phases of X-OD were completed ahead of the platform’s launch on 6 October 2020, featuring three key vendors from the Exclusive Networks portfolio: Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint and Chronicle, which collectively represented the launch partners for the offering.
X-OD was first launched in the UK, Netherlands and France, with plans to expand the platform’s availability into Belgium, Spain, Germany, Finland, Ireland and Austria from the beginning of November last year, and the rest of the world this year.
However, it wasn’t until March this year that the company announced the expansion of the platform into Germany, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Austria and Ireland. That expansion coincided with the introduction of Fortinet to the X-OD portfolio offering.
While it was always planned that the rest of the countries around the world in which Exclusive Networks operates – now more than 50 – would be part of the global launch of the platform this year, it remains to be seen which regions will receive access to X-OD and when.
However, Trolle has confirmed he expects to see the platform launched in at least some parts of the Asia Pacific region before the end of the year.
“By the end of this year we’ll...look to expand X-OD outside of EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and into North America and also into APAC,” he told ARN.
“In terms of timeline for APAC, I believe right now we are looking at somewhere in Q3, but this is a constant discussion. There’s a lot of work going into that, but we are targeting to launch X-OD in at least parts of APAC within this year,” he added.
It remains to be seen which countries in the APAC region will get access to X-OD first. Regardless, the push to get X-OD rolled out in more regions is part of Exclusive Networks’ broader strategy to keep pace with the subscription-based IT consumption trend in the enterprise IT market.
“It’s very clear to us that the subscription-based economy is becoming the preferred IT consumption model,” said Trolle, who joined Exclusive Networks as its new CEO from Arrow Electronics, where he was president of Arrow ECS Americas, in September last year.
“We’re seeing this business growing at 5x the overall the rate of our business, and frankly there are no signs of this slowing down any time soon,” he said.
At the time of writing, the company’s subscription-based business revenue was about 20 per cent of overall revenue. To date, the reception to X-OD from the markets in which it has already been made available has been positive, according to Trolle. At the same time, the company has other vendors wanting to get in on the action.
From Trolle’s perspective, some of the appeal lies in the platform’s unique aspects.
“Unlike some of the cloud marketplaces out there that really only support subscriptions that are bought as subscriptions and sold as subscriptions, the whole purpose of X-OD is to help vendors transform from an up-front capex model to a subscription-based model,” he said. “As a result of that, when we work with a vendor, we are not only onboarding their subscription services, we are also onboarding all of their physical assets and their licences.
On the partner side, according to Trolle, Exclusive Networks has multiple partners coming to it and being onboarded, with new partners joining each day.
“We see the pipeline growing frankly daily,” he said. “We’ve transacted hundreds of deals on the platform already.”