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Intact’s SODA targets skills shortage

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Specialist distributor Intact Software Distribution is bringing Skills on Demand (SODA), an on-demand supplier of professional services covering security, virtualisation, cloud, networking and data centres, to the African and Australian markets.
According to Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Intact, SODA is an ideal solution for customers who are looking for a specific skill or service for a certain period of time.
The SODA gateway harnesses the potential of under-utilised skills found within the channel and white-labels or rebrands these services for resale to other SODA partners or customers. “It’s on-demand and it’s geared for a global roll-out. SODA’s professional services are certified, cross-platform and brand, and are vendor endorsed,” he says.
“The sheer number of solutions needed to move, store, manage, secure and virtualise data in today’s complex environments puts technology partners under enormous pressure to have the necessary skills in place to cover all these areas, let alone be able to service their customers.”
Having these skills in house has been the norm, he says, as they are needed to fulfil contractual agreements with vendor partners and clients, and this translates into excess or under-utilised skills within the channel. “Of course, this cost is transferred up the line to the customer at the end of the day. Moreover, excess skills come with other challenges, such as retention, and operational costs.”
He says there aren’t many resellers and distributors who can afford the economies of scale needed to hold professional service skills across all brands, technologies and platforms on a permanent basis. “SODA allows these businesses to fill any gaps in their skillsets as an when they are needed, and only for as long as they are needed.”
Campbell-Young says SODA captures, vets and consolidates all these skills onto its gateway, enabling resellers and customers to find and utilise skills and services on demand, as they need them, and anywhere, irrespective of whether under their own brand, or as a white-label service.
“We have also received fantastic feedback from independent contractors looking for work on a contractual basis. Many highly skilled contractors are now looking to work for themselves, and we have the perfect ability to ‘bill them out’ on an ad-hoc basis. They have skills, and are happy to work. Effectively we are looking to ‘Uberise’ this segment of the market,” he explains.
In terms of the technologies that SODA services, he says the company covers security, cloud, networking, virtualisation and storage. These cover areas such as software applications, convergence, BI and analytics, CRM, accounting, and IoT too.
“As we bed the platform down across the current geography, we will start to work with partners who share our vision in other territories. SODA is an ideal fit for us as we centre our offerings around customer satisfaction and providing all-round peace of mind to our clients. SODA will help us on that journey. Intact, through its management team, has the knowledge and experience, and is well positioned to bring all the benefits that SODA offers to South African customers,” Campbell-Young says.