Digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) mean different things to different organisations. Some may look to implement smart factories; others could aim to quickly analyse multiple data streams; for some a new and better way of serving customers might be the goal.

What they all have in common though is a need to modernise their enterprise IT systems, and contemplate a move to the cloud.

ICT distributor Pinnacle is gearing up to support partners as they help customers to make the moves necessary to embrace digital transformation – and to succeed.

Gerhard Gouws and Jeremy Lichtenstein

Gerhard Gouws, Brand Head of Enterprise at Pinnacle, explains that the company has been busy onboarding more enterprise-grade products, solutions and skills sets.

As a Hewlett Packard Enterprise distributor, Pinnacle has access to a wealth of products and reference architectures that can aid customers in their digital transformation journey.

A key offering is from the partnership that HPE and Nutanix announced last year, embedding Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) technology in the range of HPE ProLiant DX appliances.

This solution saw Pinnacle as among the first distributors in the world to offer it, says Jeremy Lichtenstein, HPE Solutions Architect at Pinnacle.

The Nutanix-integrated HPE ProLiant DX appliances are based on foundational HPE server technologies existing in the ProLiant and Apollo platforms, he explains. This means they automatically offer the best security available in an industry-standard server.

The systems make it simple for organisations to build infrastructure delivering the simplicity and agility of public cloud services, with the control and security required in private cloud environments.

Because they are integrated with Nutanix Enterprise Cloud software, the HPE ProLiant DX appliances are a key component in building a hybrid cloud solution using fully-qualified HPE hardware.

The platforms and configurations are not only validated by HPE and Nutanix, they are tuned for optimised hardware settings for Nutanix environments via HPE workload matching.

A further benefit is seamless lifecycle management (LCM) and support processes.

Indeed, building hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments that support IT as well as operational technology (OT) systems is a new imperative for organisations, Lichtenstein points out.

Pinnacle is making this possible through its multi-vendor enterprise strategy. For instance, it is the biggest Commvault distributor in the local market; distributes Mellanox network equipment; and is a networking partner for HPE alongside its server, storage and appliance partnerships.

“We offer a variety of solution synergies,” Gouws says. “We are able to help our partners support high-end users in the virtual environment, on the back end, through the applications and on OS solutions that include Linux and Microsoft.”

When it comes to the HPE solution line-up, Pinnacle’s focus is on pre-sales, Gouws explains. “Our teams are cross-skilled with various different technologies and vendors so they can help to develop the strongest possible solutions for clients.”

The model is working well, Pinnacle has built a healthy enterprise business with a solid pipeline.

“It helps that the distributor has been around for a long time, so we have our partners’ trust; and we are part of the bigger Alviva group, which gives us a solid foundation to work from,” Gouws adds.

Pinnacle has typically been known for its consumer and small-business solutions, but Gouws hastens to clarify that it is much more than that today.

“When Pinnacle started the Pinnes (Pinnacle Enterprise Solutions) division, we embarked on a strategy to expand into the enterprise business. Yes, we used to focus more on run-rate and traditional PC hardware business, but in just a couple of years we have grown the enterprise division from 2% of the business to more than 30% today.”

He believes the secret to the distributor’s success is that it focuses on key strategic brands, with no competitive brands in the portfolio.

“We also add significant value to our resellers, large or small, and are willing to walk the road with them in specifying and building solutions.”

Lichtenstein adds that Pinnacle is able to bring a level of detail to customer proposals that ensure the installed solution meets the customer’s present and future needs.

The distributor is also active in identifying new markets, prospects and opportunities on behalf of its partners.