Distribution 4.0: NEXTGEN Group takes channel partnerships to the next level with SolarWinds

The evolution of technology in B2B ecosystems shares a long history of collaboration between channel vendors supporting their customers with the latest updates and insights from the tech world. What channel providers offer is valuable deep-tech expertise, being vendor agnostic and offering a multitude of pre-verified, curated solutions, reducing the guesswork and validation process organizations otherwise would have to do themselves.

It was this advisory philosophy that drew John Walters into starting NEXTGEN in 2011. Initially focused on enterprise cloud technology, the company has since branched out into becoming a leading channel distributor in Asia for numerous services.

“At the heart of NEXTGEN lies the customer and understanding their needs as they undergo their cloud transformation, and how we can assist them throughout this tumultuous process,” John shared. “We are always keen on collaborating with our partners and anticipating their long-term needs.”

Beyond the ‘pure’ distribution approach, the channel vendor is also at the forefront of revamping what it means to be a channel distributor in the enterprise space, which John calls “Distribution 4.0”. As the world digitally transforms, NEXTGEN is keen on evolving alongside its customers and offering their expertise and deep knowledge. A vital component of this lies in ensuring continuous collaboration with key technology partners where they can draw upon various leading industry services and solutions.

Strengthening the Foundation

As part of NEXTGEN’s DNA, the company works tirelessly with crucial IT vendors to provide leading, enterprise-level solutions for companies around the region, including global-leading IT management software and observability provider SolarWinds.

Building trust between distributors and channel partners is crucial, John highlights. The recent COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reinforced this narrative. In the first couple of months of the pandemic, NEXTGEN observed many businesses initially slowing down their software upgrades and purchases, specifically as the economic impact was uncertain.

However, six months into the pandemic, they witnessed a resurgence in customer demand as enterprises recognized the need for accelerating their digital transformation journey to pivot to the new normal. This pent-up demand saw NEXTGEN’s business grow by 25% Y-o-Y.

Throughout the hectic months, SolarWinds continued to build and strengthen its product and service offerings to end customers through collaborations with NEXTGEN. Globally, SolarWinds was investing in its channel partnerships and doubling down on the Asia region, recognizing its growth potential. With a newly established dedicated channels team for the region led by Sandeep Mehra, SolarWinds Director of Channel Sales, International, SolarWinds has been relentlessly supporting NEXTGEN through dedicated communication and product demonstrations ahead of releases.

With NEXTGEN looking to further its foothold in the region, this renewed focus came at an opportune time as both companies are looking to grow in tandem with increased demand for digital services. “It is a classic win-win situation,” John commented.

The Future is Holistic

As NEXTGEN evolved to customers in their cloud migration strategies, the company realized there was an opportunity to offer value-added services to their partners and customers beyond traditional enterprise technology.

“The beauty of IT - and what makes it so complex - is that you cannot separate individual solutions and products from each other. For example, beyond the cloud, businesses need to consider how to manage the data stored on the cloud, as well as ensure it is protected from malicious actors,” John observed. “When you consider integrating different innovative technologies, the process is getting infinitely more complex, and that is where the NEXTGEN Group can come in and support our vendors and customers.” At its core, that is what “Distribution 4.0” stands for, offering support and insights beyond ‘traditional’ distribution, becoming a one-stop business solution provider for customers, and offering a holistic portfolio supporting customers on their digital transformation journey.

John Walters GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / NEXTGEN GROUP
John Walters GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER / NEXTGEN GROUP

Over the past few years, NEXTGEN has acquired and created companies to help deliver its “Distribution 4.0” vision. Beyond providing in-depth expertise on cloud technology, customers can now reach out for support on lead generation and sales execution (oSpace), cloud advisory services (Optima), and flexible technology payment solutions (Orbus), among other solutions. Through this breadth of expertise, NEXTGEN continues to grow alongside its customers across the region, supporting them as they navigate their ongoing business challenges.



The holistic approach for businesses also extends to its workforce. Most of the company’s employees hail from the enterprise sector, with only a small percentage joining NEXTGEN from the ‘traditional’ distributor side.

In addition, nearly 40% of the workforce is female, including numerous women working in senior leadership positions and on the Board of Directors. This feat is still not commonplace in the enterprise technology industry. With over 38 nationalities working at NEXTGEN, the diversity within its workforce further helps drive innovation, teamwork, and cohesiveness.

Next up for NEXTGEN

Boasting an impressive 37% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), the NEXTGEN Group is keen to keep its competitive edge and grow alongside its customers across the region. Alongside its headquarters and focus region in Australia and New Zealand, NEXTGEN is expanding across Asia, opening its Asia headquarters in Singapore in 2020. It is looking to further expand across ASEAN with offices in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia and supporting customers locally. Along with its growth across the region, NEXTGEN is excited to continue on this path with trusted vendors such as SolarWinds to take the channel distribution space to the next level.

“The ANZ and Asia markets are quite different, which is why we opened a dedicated Asia headquarters with a team in Singapore,” John said. “Besides the cultural and language diversity, there is also a unique approach towards interacting with customers in each country.”

In the years to come, NEXTGEN will continue to expand its footprints across the Asia Pacific. John is confident the company will remain at the forefront of the APAC channel space.