Benefits abound with Tech Data's new TaaS offering, which include hardware, software and services.

Lynn Haber

December 12, 2017

4 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our recently compiled list of new products and services.**

Tech Data’s launch, Tuesday, of Tech as a Service (TaaS), joins the expanding lineup of industry as-a-service offerings that partners can offer their customers. This latest service allows partners to bundle hardware, software and services into a single monthly subscription.

It’s also a rebranding of a legacy Avnet Technology Solution program called CapacityNow, which now falls under the TaaS umbrella. CapacityNow is an enterprise offering for data-center services such as metered compute and storage.


Tech Data’s Linda Rendleman

The new piece of today’s offering is endpoints, says Linda Rendleman, vice president of marketing, endpoint solutions at Tech Data.

“From the endpoint perspective, the partner has the capability to include hardware, software and services, whether they be their own services or Tech Data services, as part of the subscription,” she told us.

The range of products included in TaaS is broad. Virtually any vendor on the endpoint side can be included, i.e. premium machines, 2-in-one devices, workstations, desktops., etc.

“We wanted to bring to market something that aligned with how end customers buy, and … where we feel like this will have the most traction to begin with is in the small enterprise, midmarket space,” said Rendleman. “The value of a subscription offer is something that an end customer would not have to manage themselves; therefore, they can have an array of devices as well as kit out their conference rooms, add printers, etc, all under one subscription,” she added.

With subscription-based service models, partners get the benefit of expedited cash flow in the form of up-front, in-full payments, accelerated refresh cycle via automatic re-engagement, and expanded capabilities that deliver specialized services to drive productivity and decrease costs, Tech Data said.

The software – or SaaS – piece could be something such as Office 365. There’s been a strong initiative to attach software to a device sale, and that continues with TaaS. The services piece on the Tech Data side is capability that expanded significantly with the acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions.

“We believe that our ability to deliver and own managed life-cycle services isn’t anything that our competitors can offer,” said Rendleman. “We’re looking to complement our partners in a way that helps them deliver more to their end customers.”

So, for example, if a partner has a customer that they can only service regionally, the partner could utilize Tech Data services to expand their capabilities and resources, and potentially go after a bigger piece of the overall opportunity.

Both Lenovo and Dell offer PC as a Service (PCaaS) that includes hardware, software and services in a single bundle. HP Inc. in September enhanced it’s HP Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering with more effective fleet management via the use of analytics and …

… three simplified plans. HP’s DaasS offering is also multivendor, and supports Apple.

This year it seems like as a service offerings are the rage. Cisco offers hosted security as a service (HSS), UCaaS and cloud-based desktop as a service (DaaS), among others. There’s SD-WAN as a Service, and Oracle delivers database as a service (DBaaS), and on and on.

Another innovative as-a-service twist was announced just a few weeks ago by Ingram Micro – Project Management as a Service. PMaaS offers certified expertise that partners can tap into to keep projects on time and within budget. It was driven by partners, particularly those who sell to SMBs, that either needed project managers to help manage deals or augment talent on bigger deals.

Cyndi Privett, principal at Viewpoint Research views the Tech Data announcement as a good thing.

“It’s good when distributors do it because it’s tough for vendors to include third-party products. It’s much easier for the distributors to do it and it’s a more natural value-add,” she told us.

Tech Data will use its traditional methods of enablement to help understand TaaS and how to position it with customers. There’s also a dedicated microsite for partners to learn more about TaaS, as well as resources at Tech Data to answer questions.

TaaS is available today in the U.S. and will be available in Canada in the first quarter of 2018.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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