Channel Partners

FAL 2015

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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Want to Make More Rain? Squeeze the Big Clouds Industry analyst Gartner Research refers to these as "Mode 1" and "Mode 2" approaches to IT and insists that most companies need both, what it calls "Bimodal IT." We'll just stick with "simple" and "complex." From a selling standpoint, a customer with simple needs will closely resemble a typical telecom buyer — sign up for a standard package of services that will be delivered by the cloud provider with little or no support from the reseller. A complex customer seeking agile computing capabilities to create competitive advantage will require extensive assistance from systems integrators, developers and other IT service professionals with whom you can partner to create a complete solution. Good enough, but that still leaves the vendor question. In the cloud era, fill in the blank: No one ever got fired for buying [ ] cloud. There's no one right answer. And that's where you come in. THE LINEUP Let's take a look at the power players in this game with an eye toward how they built their cloud offerings, and which you can most readily turn to for "simple" and "complex" customer require- ments. Not to dismiss small, specialized providers. They can often be great fits, but remember — the point of cloud is economy of scale and the resulting cost, redundancy and other benefits. There are many ways to define who has the "biggest" cloud, and comparisons tend to be complex because different vendors bake different services into their metrics. Synergy Research combined infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), private cloud and various public cloud services in its February Cloud Infrastructure Services report, covering market share and revenue growth for the last quarter of 2014; see figure below . By Howard M. Cohen Y You could certainly measure success in selling cloud services the same way most sales are judged — by volume of revenue. But real success also requires selling each customer the right cloud. Mismatches may sacrifice profitability to support costs, while a proper fit equals ongoing revenues. The natural inclination when seeking the right fit is to stick to the big names in cloud computing, just as you would with any technology. The problem is that "cloud" covers such a mind-boggling variety of services that there are no universal leaders, despite what Amazon may wish us to believe. Who's really big in cloud always depends on what you're selling and to whom, so let's keep this simple. Is your customer looking to obtain "traditional" IT services from the cloud? Run standard line-of-business applications? Their biggest priorities are solid reliability and stability of performance. Or is your customer seeking to partner with a provider to build an agile environment in which they can innovate, explore and create new ways of doing things? Their biggest priorities are agility and leading-edge technology. If you measure by market share alone, Amazon is the clear leader, with 28 percent, followed by Microsoft with 10 percent of the market, IBM with 7 percent, Google with 5 percent, Salesforce Cloud Infrastructure Services - Q4 2014 Market Share & Revenue Growth (Iaas, Paas, Private & Hybrid combined) Amazon Microsoft IBM Google salesfore 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Market Share Source: Synergy Research Group 8 CHANNEL PARTNERS FALL 2015 FEATURE

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