New distie to bring US tech to UK channel fast


Ethos Technology aims to close the two-year gap UK resellers have to wait to get their hands on emerging technology

A new distributor is aiming to bring the UK channel up to speed with the US by bringing emerging products from Silicon Valley start-ups to the local channel at the same time they launch across the pond.

Ethos Technology claims the UK channel is at a disadvantage because it has to wait between 18 months and two years for technology from up-and-coming vendors, but aims to close that gap by partnering with US vendors when they are very young and effectively acting as their UK operations. Some of the firms it is currently partnered with are so new that they are still in stealth mode.

The Oxford-based distie was co-founded by Omar Galbraith, who has worked in the channel for about 16 years, including acting as a consultant for European Electronique.

He told CRN he and his partners initially planned to launch the company in 2008 but were put off by the recession. He then worked in IT across North America and the Caribbean, which made him realise there was a big gap in the UK market for a company such as Ethos.

"I noticed that all the solutions I was working on were brand new solutions I had never heard of," he said. "I was talking to the techies back here and saying 'have you heard of [Dell] Compellent?' and they'd never heard of them. But [Dell Compellent] were doing really well in the States, and it was the same with Nutanix – nobody had heard of them over here but they had 50 per cent market share in America. Our international cousins are a lot higher up than us and they are more competitive because they are bringing solutions to market quicker, which gives them a better ROI."

He said this inspired him and his partners to get back together to launch their idea, which eventually happened last December. Since then they have been building the business and have about six resellers in the UK, including Stone Computers and Viadex. By next April, the firm hopes to have around 20 resellers on its books, as well as 20 staff – up from the 12 it has today.

Galbraith said that Ethos effectively acts as the UK business for emerging US vendors, which is a win-win scenario for the vendors and their resellers. The distie's flagship vendor partner is Cohesity, a storage start-up set up by Nutanix founder Mohit Aron.

"When Mohit left Nutanix and said he is going to do something new and start up another business which was going to be even more exciting, that was the signal and I said 'I want to be partnering with you and I want to bring your technology to the UK at the same time you launch in America'," he said.

"He thought I was a bit crazy because no one has ever done that with a start-up. But what was attractive for them was we said they wouldn't need any resource in the UK, they wouldn't need offices or to employ staff. We do all that and act like Cohesity in the UK.

"The resellers we have taken on – we've got a mix of big ones and small, specialist solution providers – are putting a lot of money and effort into this. We want to help our resellers build a portfolio of new technologies which all fit into one solution that they can offer and wrap around their own services so they can gain recurring revenue. For the smaller partners especially, this is a game changer because they are offering something no one else is offering."


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