2018 needs to build on the channel’s ability to address the end-to-end requirements associated with the cloud journey, in particular the adoption of the hybrid concept.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to cloud, so we believe there is an educational role to ensure that the channel is competent in being able to address the bigger picture when it comes to customer requirements. This is something that is being driven by the customer, not the channel, and partners must be wise to this opportunity.
It’s not about tactical products or services, it’s about having the dexterity and confidence to open a strategy based conversation and potentially discuss IT infrastructure ‘transformation’, the “DevOps” elephant in the room and longer term digital transformation and disruptive technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT).
The noise levels are set to ramp up, and partners need to ensure they are relevant and able to join the conversation and ask the difficult questions. For example, many businesses have jumped into the pay-as-you-use public cloud too quickly and are realising it isn’t always the best place for their workload to be, backing out into a hybrid environment to regain control of their costs. Whereas at the other end of the market some businesses are too nervous to make the initial cloud step.
How are partners positioning themselves to make sure their customers are talking to them about these issues?
Cloud, UC collaboration and security have emerged as the key challenges for businesses, especially within the mid-market community. 2018 needs to be the time for partnering to address these challenges, and upskilling to be able to have the conversation.
So, what is the solution that is able to address the IT transformation conundrum? How can partners provide new value to their customers’ businesses?
It stands to reason that those partners who understand this and approach the market in this manner are going to have more success, as opposed to talking about a standalone product or service like we did in the good old days. The client need is evolving and the channel needs to evolve even faster to get ahead of and meet this emerging need.