Last week I wrote about the important role the channel plays, occupying a space between cloud vendor and end user organization and adding value by ensuring technology satisfies business needs. But that’s not to say that cloud providers shouldn’t also have a direct relationship with their customers to understand their needs and factor them into the products and solutions they develop and evolve.
I spend a lot of time talking to customers about what they want from their cloud vendor. Top of their list is a service that both keeps their data secure and helps them comply with local and international law and regulations.
There is a lot of discussion in the industry right now about the potential cost savings for organizations that leverage of cloud computing. Another potential benefit of leveraging cloud computing is increased business agility.
For many organizations deploying new IT capabilities can be a relatively long and costly process. In this, the second installment of Trustworthy Computing’s Cloud Fundamentals Video Series, John Howie, a Senior Director of Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services, points out once the decision is made to procure new servers you’re still likely to be weeks away from deriving any benefit from them. Hardware has to be delivered, it has to be racked into the data center or server room and power run to it. It has to be networked and configured, operating systems have to be loaded and applications installed.
Weekly Roundup : Dec 16, 2011 : Iranian Engineers Reportedly Used GPS Spoof to Hijack U.S. Spy Drone to Safe Landing
With 2011 drawing to a close, we’re starting to see several predictions for what the next year will hold. On the subject of cloud computing, Forrester’s James Staten made some interesting observations.
Staten’s comments about the channel got me thinking; “channel” is such a broad term. He rightly points out that with offerings available directly from providers, “reselling isn’t good enough anymore.” Yet the counterpoint is also reflected in his comment: “For the channel to survive it must add value around cloud services and there’s plenty of opportunity to go around.” I agree with both statements.
For the channel organization that partners with a cloud provider and adds value in the form of support, customization, or other value-added services, the cloud is a tremendous opportunity to create a recurring revenue stream. However, if it passes on the cloud provider’s offering to customers with little to no value-add other than processing the transaction, this industry shift may challenge their bottom line.