Archive for November, 2011

It’s About Building Trusted Relationships

by Diane Krakora – CEO

At the recent Cloud Channel Summit event, Marc Sternberg, CEO Rising Tide Media, was bullish on the opportunities to partner with cloud services.  He commented that with cloud computing gaining broad based market acceptance and cloud solutions delivering tangible business benefits, cloud vendors need partners help.  Sternberg stressed success in the cloud is about building trusted relationships – between vendors, channels and customers. (more…)

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November 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

Life at Apple after Steve Jobs

Will channels ever hold its own for investment and innovation?

Beth Vanni – Vice President

Apple stands at a crossroads. They are the only major IT vendor that has it all – the cool computing devices, the operating system, and the server and storage technology to run the backoffice. Their thriving community of ISVs and developers is a huge asset…but what most people don’t know is that Apple has a strong, focused channel of indirect partners that help it get to market effectively. In the post-Jobs Apple, the question is whether they’ll finally start to really leverage it to keep their place at the top. (more…)

November 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

The New “VAR”

By Diane Krakora, CEO

You are probably thinking “Diane, the ‘VAR’ label, is so passé – get with the times, girl.” And you’re right. We transitioned off the ‘VAR’ label to ‘Solution Provider’ years ago, as reselling took a back seat to providing the customer with a full solution to their business needs. If you’ve been paying attention to our briefs and blogs over the last couple of years, you’ve seen us postulate completely moving off labels as ‘nouns’ to the use of ‘verbs’ for the indirect channels. What do the partners do – resell, refer, influence, bundle, service?  Instead of Reseller – they resell. Instead of MSP –they provide managed services. Instead of Consultant – they refer business.  So why am I now promoting a new “VAR?”

In the world of the cloud, the value of the indirect channel to the customer is in their relationship – the services they provide outside of the purchase of the “product” (which is likely also purchased as a ‘service’).  The product evaluation and selection is still an important role for the partner – however their new services are cloud integration, orchestration and management. Thus it is the relationship with the customer that matters in the cloud world. The partners’ future role will be consulting, advice, suggestions, business process recommendations, transition planning and immediate response when something goes amiss (and it does!).

The vendor side of this equation also values the relationship the partner has with their customer. In a SaaS or cloud model, the vendor isn’t looking for partners to install and configure a solution. They need partners that can sell the solution, drive customer satisfaction and ensure the renewal.  Thus we see the “traditional” VARs – focused on adding value to the reselling motions with design, installation and configuration services – transitioning to a new “VAR” – one focused on the value they foster in their relationships.

November 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

For Niche Distributors, the Future is Cloudy

By Kevin Fox, Consultant

Many vendors are unclear what role, if any, distributors may play in their cloud strategy. As for niche technology distributors, the future is even more unclear. 

Behemoths the likes of Avnet, Ingram and Tech Data are scrambling to claim a piece of the pie. Who can blame them? IT spending is projected to grow at 4% annually through 2013, while “Cloud” spend is projected to grow at 26% annually (source: IDC). That is, 25% of overall IT growth will come from Cloud/SaaS offerings in the next few years.  (more…)

November 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm 2 comments


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