Oncore IT News - 13 June 2013
Hitachi Data Systems powers Oncore IT Cloud services in the UK as it broadens sales focus to target SMBs
Oncore IT today announced that it will deliver an enhanced portfolio of Cloud-based services to existing and new customers powered by Hitachi Data Systems’ (HDS) unified storage and content platforms, along with blade infrastructure.
Capitalising on its extensive track record working with over 100 customers primarily in the legal, financial and professional services sectors, Oncore IT will rollout a portfolio of services including On Data (online data back up), On Archive (archiving and data recovery) and On Share (data sharing).
Over the past three years, through investment in product development and the 2011 acquisition of BlueArc Corporation to add network attached, file-based storage capability to its portfolio, HDS has extended in product range to address the information solutions requirements of SMBs. This builds on its traditionally strong position selling to large organisations where highly available, fast, and reliable mission critical storage systems are vital.
The latest Federation of Small Business data shows that SMBs account for 99.9% of all private sector organisations in the UK, employing 14.1 million people. 
HDS is already a channel centric organisation in the UK and globally, but its intent is to generate more revenue through indirect channels defined as traditional reseller partners, system integrators and service providers. In other words, partner companies who buy HDS information solutions to sell to customers, use as part of a service offering or both. The Oncore IT partnership supplements HDS’ well-established TrueNorth partner programme and extends its footprint to work with specialist SMB focused partners.
To support this, HDS has created an internal team of 14 staff to aid SMB partners, appointed two distributors, and invested considerably in new business development activities to create growth. Oncore IT will work with Zycko, one of the distributors, who will provide assistance in terms of sales, technical, and marketing support and help Oncore interface with HDS.
Neill Burton, HDS’ UK vice president of Channels and Alliances, explains, “We’re very excited to partner with Oncore IT who add real value given their knowledge of key markets where we lack track record, as well as operating a business model we currently don’t – namely Cloud delivery which allow SMBs to access HDS enterprise-class technology as a service rather than buying and owning the assets.”
Founded in 2004, Oncore IT has proven experience designing, implementing, and managing Cloud compute environments providing its SMB customers access to the level of enterprise class technology typically the preserve of large corporates.
Key customers include well-known and respected barristers chambers, solicitors, asset management companies, brokers, a variety of professional services organisations, along with logistics and retail organisations.
Oncore IT has purchased two key HDS platforms – Hitachi Unified Storage VM (HUS VM) and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) – to standardise on Hitachi information solutions within its business. This means that Oncore IT has effectively become a HDS customer and partner at the same time and will utilise HDS storage on client projects whether it’s managing solutions at a customer site or hosting applications in its multi-tenanted Cloud environment.
Oncore IT has invested significantly in building this [Cloud] environment working with world class partners such as Asigra [data backup], Brocade [data centre switches and Ethernet Fabric technology] and now the final component – Hitachi Data Systems – as its key storage platform provider and the heart of its new storage brand On Data.
Client data is stored in Oncore IT’s London data centre and replicated to its Amsterdam facility to guarantee resilience, leveraging 600 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth.
Michael Croft, Oncore IT’s chief executive officer, says, “The important thing about the HDS relationship is firstly we can expand our portfolio to now offer a suite of data services for customers and secondly respond appropriately to their particular data challenges irrespective of the type – structured or unstructured – or the quantity. Our HDS platform is completely scalable in this sense and will enable us to develop a data strategy per client to address their specific commercial needs.”
Burton agrees, “By using HCP, Oncore IT will target more [SMB] customers than we can and spawn new revenue generating services. They’re taking HDS to a much wider audience.“
Croft concludes, “The word partnership in the IT industry is commonly banded about rather loosely. Rather than just having the credentials, what’s far more significant is what you do as a partner. We’re fortunate to be fully engaged with HDS to ensure that the relationship works delivering value to our customers yet creating sales opportunities for both companies.”
 Source: Federation of Small Businesses