‘Almost every partner we’ve talked to this year is thinking about it…is worried about it…’

February 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Darren Bibby, Program Director of Software, Partnering and Alliances, IDC

The ‘it’ Darren is referring to is cloud computing adoption, and it was one of the hot topics discussed in our December 15th webinar, 2010 in the Channel – A Year in Review. Our panelists, as well as those attending the webinar, agreed that the cloud is here to stay, and it is having tremendous ramifications for solution providers and vendors as they develop their go-forward strategies for 2011 and beyond.

Virtually every one of our webinar attendees indicated they were pursuing the cloud in some way. This is not surprising given the possibilities that cloud computing offers. Our panelists (Amazon Consulting CEO Diane Krakora; Bill Botti, COO and Lee Fawcett, VP Professional Services from Arrow ECS; Darren Bibby Program Director of Software, Partnering and Alliances from IDC) were quick to point out however, that with the cloud’s benefits come real concerns.

By its very nature, cloud computing is redefining the business model.
Software companies and market analysts must understand this shift and its implications, as the traditional business model migrates to a SaaS (Software as a Service) model that delivers increased profits on lower revenues. This new business model will not only impact hardware manufacturers, it will placed increased demands on vendors to transition their sales force from one that is used to selling commission-based hardware to one based on monthly recurring services revenue.

Customer satisfaction and retention are more important than ever before. With a cloud services model, account managers need to be motivated to ensure their customers are actually using the SaaS-based product so as to ensure renewals at the end of the term. While bringing new customers into the fold will continue to be important, retaining existing, satisfied customers is mission-critical.

Business intelligence will separate fly-by-night cloud sellers from true partners. As the competitive landscape continues to change, new non-traditional service providers are entering the picture. Solution providers and their vendors will need to invest more in boosting their knowledge base and gaining a better understanding of their end users’ businesses as well as the types of solutions they are looking for. This will help to differentiate them as a valued, long-term partner.

Learn more about what you need to be doing to retool your channel partnership strategies to reach for the cloud in 2011 by viewing our December 2010 webcast here. And don’t forget to visit our Upcoming Events page to register for Amazon Consulting’s 2011 informative webinar events.

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