Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Don MacVittie, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, VictorOps Blog

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Will the Channel Disrupt the Cloud?

How the channel will impact cloud computing in the enterprise

James Urquhart wrote an interesting article today in his Wisdom in the Clouds blog on CNET about how cloud changes the customer, vendor relationship.

In the article he states:

"In cloud, your traditional technology suppliers are now interfacing directly with the customer, and the channel's "value add" of customer relationship management, technology delivery, and solutions development is being seriously threatened."

Having worked for enterprise customers and vendors for the last 20 years, I have to say many companies have a direct relationship with their technology providers.  I think Dell & Gateway are probably most responsible for that disruption with support from a bursting .COM bubble. Before that, resellers were the primary route to market for product.  Vendors had some large "captured" partners and then a number of tier 2 providers. The commoditization of the PC really drove the balance of product distribution into smaller enterprise. Made easier by more made-to-order, direct order and delivery relationship.  Then, as those companies hunted for high margins fighting against the bigger vendors, direct sales forces and different channel programs came about.

The "channel" has always existed to add value to that technology when the customer did not have the capability to implement themselves. It has always support complex products, of which cloud is just another.

In a previous post I discussed some changes at Amazon to try to attract enterprise customers to the public cloud. This is a clear sign of recognition that things need to change to continue to drive broad adoption.  I think the cloud has disrupted many things, but the SI, MSP and VAR channel is probably not one of them. In fact, I think looking forward it is the need to leverage that channel that will disrupt the current flavour of the cloud.

Partner programs in major public cloud providers have been forming for a while and will continue to gain strength while complex workloads are being refactored for the cloud. Public cloud providers are hungry for customers who can spend larger sums of money on larger workloads. The public cloud provider model does not lend itself to a high touch salesforce or a significant solutions support organization, all this will come from the channel.

The "swipe your credit card and start an instance" is a version of the stealth adoption model most commonly used by Open Source Software (OSS) to bypass the management process of Enterprise IT. For OSS it was free downloads, for AWS is $0.0x cents per hour computing to a company that probably already has your credit card details. To say AWS or most cloud providers have a "relationship" with their customers is bit of an exaggeration. Certainly, for bigger users this is true of public cloud, you would have a very important customer relationship. The average public cloud however, has a very skewed distribution of users, with the majority just tinkering. As public cloud moves from the edges of the organization to workloads of more significance, it will come into the sights of IT Management, and then the channel that serves it.

To James's point, there is no physical fulfillment in the public cloud model. The distribution of cost model in a VAR moves from a focus on logistics to and focus on solutions design and delivery, plus application development etc.. Most VAR's however, have made this move anyway. It's part of a natural desire to increase margins once logistics automation is complete.

Cloud is not disrupting the channel, at most it's just giving it some X-Training, maybe a dose of P90X. The more relevant question is:

"What changes do cloud providers need to make to get the channel to help penetrate the market"?

More Stories By Brad Vaughan

Brad Vaughan is a twenty year veteran consultant working with companies around the globe to transform technology infrastructure to deliver enhanced business services.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Learn how you can use the CoSN SEND II Decision Tree for Education Technology to make sure that your K–12 technology initiatives create a more engaging learning experience that empowers students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Malicious agents are moving faster than the speed of business. Even more worrisome, most companies are relying on legacy approaches to security that are no longer capable of meeting current threats. In the modern cloud, threat diversity is rapidly expanding, necessitating more sophisticated security protocols than those used in the past or in desktop environments. Yet companies are falling for cloud security myths that were truths at one time but have evolved out of existence.
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...