Tech Data's StreamOne Simplifies Cloud Licensing for IT Pros

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2012-01-23 Print this article Print

Tech Data is looking to make it easier for IT administrators and channel partners to overcome the complexity of end-user license agreements when it comes to buying technology, especially for business interested in implementing cloud services.

Many enterprises are finding that buying software or services has become an almost unbearable challenge, a challenge that can be summed up with a single word-licensing. After all, there are hundreds of software vendors and cloud service providers, along with thousands of license types and numerous end-user license agreements (EULAs) to worry about.

Tech Data, which is one of the biggest distributors of IT products, aims to lessen that burden with the launch of the StreamOne Solutions Store, which is designed to empower Tech Data's army of partners to handle all of the tedious details normally associated with selling software, cloud services and the related licenses.

These new StreamOne Solutions from Tech Data, which the company officially announced Jan. 23, is aiming to leverage an old concept to handle the latest challenges of purchasing software and services, a concept once referred to as the channel, or more specifically the reseller, or VAR. That is something most enterprises and IT professionals know well. In the past, businesses relied heavily on VARs as a conduit for purchasing hardware, software and services.

"Tech Data has set the new standard for the IT channel with the goal of making software and cloud service logistics faster, affordable, personalized and far more accessible," said Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky. "The StreamOne Solutions Store pioneers an untapped path for ISVs and cloud providers to directly access niche markets previously unavailable, while providing a simpler and more efficient interface for VARs."

However, as direct sales became more the norm and enterprises created relationships directly with software and services vendors, the process of purchasing became fragmented and complex.

This cut VARs and channel partners out of the picture.

What's more, thinning margins and complex vendor relationships made the software and resale of services markets less appealing to VARs. In one fell swoop, Tech Data will try to rebuild those relationships, eliminate those barriers and simplify the resale process to make the purchasing of software licenses and cloud services a pain-free procedure, for both VARs and their customers.

The StreamOne Solutions Store works by providing authorized Tech Data partners with a portal-based store that unifies the access to tens of thousands of product SKUs and new consumption and billing models. Enterprise customers will be able to turn to a single VAR for access to software license, electronic downloads or cloud services, without having to face an intense jungle of pricing tiers and complex licensing rules.

StreamOne's Software License Selector guides resellers through the steps to select and provision software and services from a multitude of vendors. What's more, customers seeking niche cloud services or products will be able to rely on their favored VAR to provide access to those products as needed. Customers benefit because they are able to work with fewer VARs to gain access to the products they need, while vendors benefit from the ability to reach more customers, and VARs benefit from the time savings and singular billing methodologies that can be used for selling a multitude of products and services.

At launch, StreamOne will offer access to an array of vendors and service providers, including basic cloud services, software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and others.



Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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