American broadliner Tech Data has expanded its digital Cloud Practice Builder program to include interactive solutions-focused paths and vendor-specific enablement programs. These new additions offer technology solution providers with a single source for growing diversified cloud practices by quickly assessing, mapping and building expanded practice or solution focus areas. “Our partners are looking for new ways to expand their businesses and take advantage of high-growth opportunities, as evidenced by the 900-plus customers who have participated in digital cloud practice builder since its launch in October”, said Sergio Farache, senior vice president Global Cloud Solutions at Tech Data. “Our latest additions to the program enhance our customers’ ability to build and diversify their cloud practices.” Through the interactive solutions-focused paths and vendor-specific enablement programs, customers will understand where their greatest opportunities lie, develop a roadmap and start quickly building new practices in as few as 90 days—a process that historically could take five months or more. Developing new practices can be challenging for any technology solution provider, so Tech Data’s new interactive paths simplify complexity to provide customers with an understanding of where and how they can drive greater cloud growth. These include paths for vendor-specific or business-outcome-focused solution practice areas. As an example, Tech Data’s vendor-specific Microsoft enablement paths help partners develop their Microsoft-based practices, from launching a cloud service provider (CSP) practice to advancing their practices with Azure or Microsoft Modern Workplace. Tech Data’s solutions-focused paths, on the other hand, guide customers along three possible focus areas—core cloud, cloud data protection or modern workplace—and ultimately direct customers to enablement through Tech Data’s own pre-architected, click-to-run solutions, like ones for enabling cloud backup. “Cloud Practice Builder was a pleasant surprise for my company in that it helped us solidify our strategy and go-to-market approach around cloud in a way that was super simple, which is necessary when you run a business in a channel that is complex and constantly evolving”, said Juan Fernandez, vice president of Managed IT Services, at ImageNet Consulting, a technology solution provider and Tech Data partner. “The program helped us understand gaps in our practice that we didn’t previously consider, and it helped us to fill in those gaps.” Vendor-specific path example: Azure Express Tech Data’s initial Microsoft program, called Azure Express, is available in the U.S. currently with plans for rollout in other regions around the globe. Created in partnership with Microsoft and offered exclusively through Tech Data, this program enables resellers to quickly ramp up and take advantage of high-demand cloud applications while creating new profitable business opportunities using Microsoft Azure. Working with a dedicated program manager who guides customers through a series of “sprints” each quarter, Tech Data partners learn how to deploy and manage the Azure platform. Each sprint has a specific milestone that the reseller must attain, and each sprint is time-defined to ensure that partners remain on pace with the accelerated schedule. “The learning paths, thoughtful education, and support for partners on the Microsoft Azure platform and related products by the Tech Data team have been invaluable. The technologies and myriad of available options can be daunting, yet Tech Data’s cloud team has made themselves available with friendly, helpful, engaging and prompt information and guidance”, said Jim-Barry Behar, CEO, at Relentless Solutions, a value-added reseller and Tech Data partner. “Ultimately, the challenge of any cloud solution provider is to properly architect the appropriate solution tailored to the end users' needs; however, having the right partnerships in place to make this process smoother is key to Relentless Solutions’ success. We are looking forward to growing our long-standing relationship with Tech Data as we continue on our cloud journey.” In addition to Azure Express, within Cloud Practice Builder, partners can also discover new, robust and interactive enablement paths to specialisation, competency and greater ROI with top cloud providers, including Microsoft, AWS and Google.