Edit: Getting On The Cloud


5 Aug 2011
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A recent report from a leading market research firm says that only one in six customers interested in cloud computing will move to the cloud without the help of a solution provider or partner. Customers are challenged to find the right services that fit their environments and will rely heavily on the channel to build and integrate cloud solutions.

So Enterprise VARs needn’t be worried about being dis-intermediated because of the cloud. In fact, cloud services will make solution providers more important as they help customers navigate the complex cloud waters.

Solution providers who still believe that cloud computing is all hype should think again. According to a recent report by IDC, 14 percent of Indian organizations are already using the public cloud, and another 76 percent are considering cloud computing within the next six months.

According to various estimates, the Indian cloud computing market was pegged at Rs 425 crore in 2010 and is expected to grow to Rs 2,200 crore by 2014.

Looking at some of these figures, solutions providers can’t continue to sit on the fence. If they want to succeed in the cloud services game, they better get into the market soon. The first movers can get cloud services into the market sooner than the competition and create stickiness with clients.

Many solution providers are still contemplating whether selling branded services is the right strategy or should they build their own white-label services. Gartner forecasts that cloud service brokerage will represent the single largest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing by 2015. The research agency believes that most large IT companies will not sell services directly: they will need partners.

While I am not against solutions providers creating their own services, the fact is it’s a time-consuming affair. In the meantime, selling branded services will provide them a better idea of what branded players offer and what their customers require—eventually helping them develop more market-relevant services.

Having said that, moving to the cloud isn’t going to be easy and will require a complete mindset change. From being project-driven and topline focused, resellers need to get accustomed to a commission-based annuity revenue model.
On the financial side, solution providers will have to plan and prepare, build an annuity business, and stabilize their revenue forecast. While on the sales side, they must change their selling practice, retrain their sales forces, build new customer relationships and alter sales incentives for sales teams.

Choosing the right cloud offerings that customers are and will demand in future and choosing the right cloud service providers is going to be another critical area.

So if you still haven’t moved to the cloud, the time is now!

source : crn
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