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‘Bring your own license’ is a game-changer for local cloud resellers

By , Regional Sales Director: SADC, Nutanix.
21 Feb 2024
Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC at Nutanix.
Alex Russell, Regional Sales Manager, SADC at Nutanix.

In recent years, the channel has been looking for a way of exploring different upgrade models, ecosystems, and licensing options. While the pandemic can be considered a catalyst, the reality is that the seeds of this digital transformation were planted long before COVID shut the world down.

Many channel partners throughout Africa already play a crucial role in providing advice and services around product implementation and integration. The challenge, especially for developing markets, is that cloud services introduce a new level of complexity. This stems from the traditional viewpoint that cloud providers have only sometimes been the most forgiving when making it easy for partners and their customers to move between services.

These perceptions (and the reality of migration) are unlikely to change. Research has found that demand for the cloud will be driven by cybersecurity, sustainability, and AI trends. It stands to reason that customers want flexibility in infrastructure to take advantage of these trends. Whether this is from an on-premises or working with public or private cloud providers, businesses are looking to realise the actual value of a hybrid multi-cloud policy. For this to happen, they need access to a software layer across cloud services.

Transformation cost

One of the biggest problems facing customers is that most vendors tend to charge twice for each cloud deployment. There are separate licenses for on-premises and public cloud solutions. For example, if a customer has invested in on-premises licenses, these cannot be repurposed for public cloud solutions.

As you can imagine, this creates a challenge for those companies wanting to benefit from hybrid cloud environments. They want to invest in the cloud and future-proof their systems, maintain their existing investments, and 'double up’ on licensing costs.

The channel across Africa can benefit from this. Partners are looking for opportunities to deliver services in the environment their clients need. At a foundational level, licenses in this ‘new’ world must be flexible. If a customer decides to shift to a multi-cloud environment, why should they pay twice?

Licensing control

The channel can fundamentally reshape how licensing works by adding value through licensing flexibility and helping optimise workloads. But for this to happen, vendors like ourselves must enable our partners to drive infrastructure in a way that suits their businesses.

The carrot for partners is increased service revenue. Workload optimisation is increasingly vital to getting value out of cloud investment. Not all workloads are equal. Customers need help in understanding this and recognising the benefits. As well as cost, there are added advantages in reduced energy consumption, faster throughput, more unified data, and greater productivity.

Doing things differently

This is why Nutanix believes in a portable license. Consider it a 'bring your own license' (BYOL) agreement. This enables the portability of on-premises licenses into a public cloud environment. At the same time, this BYOL supports application migration and management across multiple clouds at no extra licensing cost.

For us, it comes down to simplifying IT operations across multiple environments using a flexible, vendor-lock-in-free approach that can fit each customer's unique requirements. Yes, it may signal a transformation of the traditional approach to some. But it comes down to providing companies in general, and the channel in particular, with the means to create a future-proof hybrid cloud environment without adding to the existing complexities of licensing.

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