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Questions and Answers with Cloud Bender

What channel players will survive the cloud?

Before I begin my response to your questions, I want to thank you – the readers of my blogs for all the great questions that you keep sending me. While I can’t respond to all the inquiries I receive, I’d like to take a moment today to address some of your questions.

Yes, if you’d like to remain anonymous, I will honor your request (and by the way, yes, I honor all embargoes). However, in my opinion, you’ll obtain a more comprehensive response and perspective on your question if you post it to a forum like  LinkedIn Groups,Quora, Focus, or any other where you have a wide range of experts participating in the topic.

For the record, there are no “silly” Cloud computing questions. This is a relatively new industry that is emerging and we’re all learning the impact the Cloud is having on business, technology, and industry together. I certainly never stop learning from my peers in the industry, and that will always be the case in this segment because innovative new approaches to the way we create and deliver value are now limited only by our imagination.

So while I’m flattered that some of you believe that I have all the answers, the truth is, I don’t. Nor can I predict the twists and turns we will take together as Cloud computing continues to evolve. What I can share with you, for what it’s worth, is my opinion, based on my education and industry experience. Now, on to some of the recent questions (aggregated):

Will Cloud computing have an impact on the channel, and if so, how extensive?
Who will be the winners?
How will the channel be impacted?
Will smaller MSPs survive?

Let me begin by saying these are very broad questions. Though generally speaking, yes, in my opinion, this new delivery model will have an impact on all business and industries. The extent of the impact will largely depend on the industry, business, and business model.

Recently, HP CEO Leo Apotheker told HP’s partners to adjust their business models and Cisco made channel announcements.

You may also find, “Cloud VARs Must Add ISV Flavor To Taste ‘Channel 2.0′” and “Memo From Cisco: MSPs Will Enjoy Early Cloud Computing Advantage” interesting reads. A couple of the sources I enjoy reading when it comes to the IT channel are, MSPmentor | Managed Service Provider News & Managed Services Blog and The VAR Guy.

In fact, the VAR Guy did some of the homework for you this past week and compiled the 15 Most Read Channel News Stories, March 25 | The VAR Guy.

All this being said, my response doesn’t even begin to touch upon how channels in other industries are being impacted.

As a rule of thumb disruptive innovation always has disintermediation potential similar to what we observed with the rise of the Internet. In my opinion, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Value Added Resellers (VARs), and Consultants / Systems Integrators (CSIs) would do well to seek each other out and partner or merge as a survival strategy. Though I’m sure others would disagree.

As to who the winners will be in the channel, I’d also love to know, though I suspect that even all the compute power in the Cloud can’t answer that one.

Tune The Future -

More Stories By Ray DePena

Ray DePena worked at IBM for over 12 years in various senior global roles in managed hosting sales, services sales, global marketing programs (business innovation), marketing management, partner management, and global business development.
His background includes software development, computer networking, systems engineering, and IT project management. He holds an MBA in Information Systems, Marketing, and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BBA in Computer Systems from the City University of New York at Baruch College.

Named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers in 2009, Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2010, and Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2011, he is the Founder and Editor of Amazon.com Journal,Competitive Business Innovation Journal,and Salesforce.com Journal.

He currently serves as an Industry Advisor for the Higher Education Sector on a National Science Foundation Initiative on Computational Thinking. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. DePena now lives in northern California. He can be followed on:

Twitter: @RayDePena   |   LinkedIn   |   Facebook   |   Google+

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