In DoD technology deal, Smartronix cites Dell alliances as key advantage

Midsize solution provider Smartronix beat out competitors for a DoD cloud contract, citing its Dell Technologies partnerships as one of its advantages; more news from the week.

Solutions provider Smartronix has won a contract to provide its On-Site Managed Services to the Department of Defense.

The DoD technology deal featured collaboration between Smartronix and several Dell Technologies business units, such as Dell EMC, Virtustream and VMware, to develop and deliver the On-Site Managed Services (OMS) offering. OMS will include the Cloud Foundry platform for cloud native applications, while Dell EMC will contribute essential compute, storage and networking technology. Virtustream, for its part, will provide private on-premises IaaS technology, and VMware will integrate its infrastructure technology with OMS, according to Smartronix. The DoD task order was awarded under the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center's CIO-SP3 government-wide acquisition contract.

Smartronix has focused heavily on the public sector, particularly on the DoD, since its founding in 1995, said John Parris, CEO of Smartronix, in an email. He said for about 15 years the company provided networking and cybersecurity services to large and complex enterprise networks, such as the Marine Corps Enterprise Network. In 2009, Smartronix was awarded a contract to redesign the website, which expanded the company's focus to include the federal civilian marketplace. The contract "spearheaded" Smartronix's cloud practice, Parris said, providing "the experience, capability and reputation to target and develop our federal civilian and commercial business base."

Virtustream said OMS will provide "true" consumption-based billing IaaS through its platform. Joe Moye, senior vice president of the public sector at Virtustream, noted he believes the consumption-based model was a key differentiator in getting awarded the DoD technology contract.

"DoD customers will pay for what they use [versus] making a huge upfront capital expense," Parris added.

Parris said 54 companies, "including the largest federal systems integrators," were originally awarded these contracts. While Parris wasn't sure of what the exact number of competitors was in the end, he noted "all of the major commercial [cloud service providers] had been tracking this opportunity, as well as the large DoD systems integrators who provide their own private cloud solutions."

Parris considered Smartronix's alliance with Dell Technologies as a major factor in winning the DoD technology deal. "We also did our upfront work, responding to the original request for information [RFI], meeting with the Program Office in order for them to understand our credentials," he added. "Our cloud experience and client list, I'm sure, were big factors."

He also believes Smartronix's size was an advantage. "As a midsize company, we at times seem to be in no-man's land. We are attacked by the billion-dollar federal systems integrators for not having their size and squeezed out of small business opportunities," he said. However, "more and more government program personnel are looking at mid-tier companies as having just as much -- or more -- capability as the billion-dollar companies without the bureaucracy, delay, lack of focus and explicit priority on the bottom line."

He added that it has become clear the DoD has started to lean more toward cloud adoption. "Smartronix won several DoD cloud opportunities this past fiscal year, and we have been responding to RFIs and meeting with major program sponsors to discuss cloud more and more. From Smartronix's experience, the commercial market was an early adopter, followed by the federal civilian space. The DoD is now heating up."

SADA Systems invests for growth

SADA Systems grew its revenue nearly 50% in 2016 and now plans to invest more than $11 million over the next year to further expand its public cloud services and technology consulting business.

The company, which is projecting revenue of $100 million for 2017, recently added 8,000 square feet of office space at its Los Angeles headquarters to accommodate the dozens of new hires the company expects to bring on board in the next 12 months. The demand for public cloud infrastructure and applications drives the company's growth, according to SADA. Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA, said his company's objective is to, at minimum, match its growth to the market's overall growth rate.

"The market is expanding at a certain clip," he said. "If we are not growing at that pace, at least, we are losing market share."

SASA will need to grow its revenue 42.9% in 2017 to meet its $100 million forecast.

SADA's business is built around its relationships with cloud platforms. The company is a Google Cloud Premier Partner, providing consulting and technical services. The company also participates in Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider program, where it provides services around cloud offerings such as Office 365 and SharePoint Online. The company's most recent cloud addition is Workplace by Facebook, an enterprise collaboration platform for which SADA was a launch partner.

Looking ahead, Safoian said SADA aims to double its Microsoft services business this year. He noted that Microsoft cloud projects build upon one another, citing the example of an Office 365 migration that led to a SharePoint development effort.

Another 2017 initiative: Look for opportunities to productize offerings that can be sold to multiple customers. SADA recently launched Atom, a software-as-a-service application that tracks assets and resources for departments of transportation.

"I think this is the year we will make the boldest attempt to do repeatable product solutions," he said.

As for its $11 million-plus investment, SADA plans to spread the outlay across its Google, Microsoft and Facebook operations. The company said it will also continue to invest in services and programs that focus on emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data and analytics, the internet of things and mobile.

Mimecast appoints global channel sales SVP

Mimecast Ltd., an email and data security vendor, has appointed a former Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) executive to lead its channel initiative.

The company appointed Eli Kalil to the newly created position of senior vice president of global channel sales. Kalil will be responsible for Mimecast's global channel programs, which maintain relationships with systems integrators, VARs, managed service providers (MSPs) and distributors. He will also be a member of Mimecast's Go-to-Market Leadership team, working with regional general managers to deploy "new ways to accelerate Mimecast's channel growth," according to the company.

"I plan to work with the global channel sales team to continue building out the company's relationships with large, national partners," Kalil explained.

He also noted Mimecast's channel team will soon investigate two-tier distribution opportunities to "explore a broader, more efficient sales engine" through which Mimecast can deliver its business email security offerings.

In other partner program developments, Mimecast plans to help partners create cloud practices, a task that has been a struggle for some channel companies. Kalil said Mimecast will document a more cohesive partner enablement program, part of which will focus on the cloud practice issue. He said the enablement program initiative will more than likely take place in the second half of 2017.

Overall, Mimecast aims to invest in a "formal well documented partner program" and the establishment of a "new, more robust partner portal," Kalil added.

With respect to geographic coverage, Kalil said Mimecast "will look to increase our investments with our partners and position ourselves for more growth here, domestically, as well in Australia, South Africa and the U.K."

Before joining Mimecast, Kalil was vice president of enterprise security, global channel partnership sales at HPE.

Other news

Here's a look at more channel highlights from the week:

  • Data management vendor Informatica authorized Arrow Electronics as one of its first North American distributors. Under the agreement, Arrow will distribute the Informatica portfolio through its reseller channel. Arrow this week also signed a global agreement with technology company CUI Inc. to distribute more than 1,000 CUI SKUs across a variety of electromechanical technologies.
  • Huisman Equipment B.V., a heavy construction equipment manufacturer based in the Netherlands, has selected Masergy Communications Inc. to link its global locations through Masergy's hybrid wide-area network offering and Software Defined Platform. Masergy, based in Dallas, focuses on hybrid networking, managed security services and cloud communication offerings.
  • Leonovus, a cloud solutions software provider and Oracle Gold Cloud Partner, unveiled its software-defined object storage product for enterprise cloud users.

The Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Next Steps

Read about Virtustream's public sector partnership with Carahsoft

Learn about the channel cybersecurity trends for 2017

Mark your calendars: Channel events listings for 2017

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