Computerlinks has sought to put clear water between its cloud strategy and the "aggregation" models employed by rival VADs.
The distributor – which is aiming to cement ties with 30 "very active" partners for its ALVEA cloud brand this year – claims its strategy of developing its own intellectual property (IP) and providing the support itself marks it out from all of its competitors.
Cloud aggregation models are in vogue this year, with Azlan and Arrow among those recently launching platforms that allow their resellers to aggregate cloud services from multiple vendors on a single billing platform.
But Dave Ellis, director of new technology at Computerlinks, claimed few are investing in their own services and IP, to the detriment of their partners.
"Other distributors are generally acting as pure aggregators," said Ellis (pictured). "They are buying a platform from someone such as Jamcracker or Parallels and using that as a shopfront to resell other providers' cloud services through the channel.
"With ALVEA, it's our IP and it's our people who have developed and built the service and who support the service. We have put together all the legal documentation and collateral. Lots of other distributors are distributing Colt Telecom. Colt sells direct to end customers and resellers and has a muddy channel model. All our ALVEA services are designed for a two-tier channel model from the ground up."
Launched in late 2010, ALVEA is still an "embryonic" contributor to Computerlinks' $1.25bn (£818m) turnover but sales are ramping up rapidly, with the Q1 tally surpassing the total figure for 2012, Ellis claimed.
The brand, whose services draw on technology from various third-party vendors such as Check Point and Avanti Communications, is designed to shatter the barrier of entry for resellers moving into the cloud game. Services are split into three different streams around security-as-a-service, business continuity and resilience, and IaaS.
Ellis said Computerlinks had set itself the goal of having about 30 very active ALVEA resellers this year.
"We have traded with a lot of partners and want to get deeper with the partners we are already working with and drive more services through them," he said. "So rather than them just selling one service, we get them selling across all three streams."
ALVEA forms a core part of the drive into higher-margin products and services Computerlinks launched in 2010 in a bid to more than double its profit margins. The VAD also operates a 24/7 global support centre and 24/7 onsite hardware support, as well as providing services around penetration testing, vulnerability assessments and most recently, ISO consultancy, Ellis pointed out.
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