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Channel Matters Blog > January 2013 > What your resellers need to know about cloud - right now!

What your resellers need to know about cloud - right now!

by Ian Moyse
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The IT industry is a fast-paced, constantly evolving beast, and yet the extraordinary speed at which cloud computing has come to dominate the landscape has caught many by surprise. In uncertain economic times resellers who do not fully appreciate the size of the cloud market opportunity may be reluctant to invest and change, but the Cloud Computing industry may actually provide more partner opportunities than the traditional IT industry ever has.

"We change our behaviour when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change".

None deny that Cloud Computing was the most talked about transition when looking back at the past year. Love it, hate it, reject it or embrace it, there is no doubt you have talked about it—and the debate will certainly continue to proliferate throughout 2013.

We've seen bold statements from European leaders such as Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, who says the economic benefits of cloud to the European Union are as much as several hundred Euros per annum for every single person in Europe. With a population of over 500 million, that equates to some 350 billion Euros- a staggering sum! With numbers like that flying around, it's no wonder there is so much discussion and scepticism.

The Cloud Computing industry may actually provide more partner opportunities than the traditional IT industry ever has. In the USA alone there are estimated to be between 14 – 15 million small to medium businesses that have not been able to leverage core software applications due to their size.

Cloud will enable these companies to take advantage of technologies previously unaffordable to them. This in turn will provide the opportunity for their trusted IT reseller providers to guide them and provide the consultancy required to configure and train on cloud solutions. Resellers who want to tap into this market will need to align with the new cloud vendors in order to develop a relationship that enables them to deliver the expertise in business process and cloud service functionality that the customer is going to need.

There are many areas where the cloud, and the many subsets of delivery within it, affects the channel and poses big question marks for resellers on what and how to adapt in a variety of areas.

The Cloud Industry Forum 2013 UK Cloud Adoption and Trends survey reported that 61% of customers are already using cloud services compared to 48% in the same survey 18 months ago, with the top 3 reasons for use cited as operational cost savings, flexibility of delivery and scalability.
The questions resellers face include:
  • How to position, choose, market and sell cloud services
  • How to compete, co-operate or align with major cloud platforms such as Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps,, Amazon and the like.
  • How to work with smaller cloud-focused vendors
  • How to adjust billing models, support, service delivery and sales commission as they resell both on-network and cloud offerings
  • How to demonstrate value to their customers and their place in the cloud supply chain
Other industries have already ignored new form factors to their peril, take the Video industry and NetFlix/Lovefilm decimation of Blockbuster, Itunes killing of Tower Records and the struggling of the book stores and many other bricks/mortar retail outlets against online delivery methods.
We all share the changes that cloud solutions are bringing to the IT world and we in the channel have a responsibility to engage, educate and adapt to these changes.

Last modified on 6/30/2013 10:11:20 PM
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