JUNIPER PARTNER SUMMIT 2014: Distributors important to the Cloud, but need to change - Channel Dynamics

JUNIPER PARTNER SUMMIT 2014: Distributors important to the Cloud, but need to change - Channel Dynamics

Consulting firm also finds managed services is sometimes misrepresented as Cloud.

The Australian market is moving towards not owning IT, and Channel Dynamics is now seeing it migrate to the Cloud and managed services.

Director, Moheb Moses, spoke about the industrial shift at the Juniper Partner Summit in Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney, and pinpointed the challenges it is creating for distributors.

“The channel’s role is to fill the gap between the vendor’s product and end users,” he said.

“What the distributor does is fill in the gap between the reseller and vendor can do.”

Moses expects the distributors to remain crucial in the Cloud role, but emphasizes the role will be “quite different.”

“If you look at distribution simply in terms of selling something, we don’t think that role will be as important in the future,” he said.

“But if think of the distributor’s role as filling in the gap between what the reseller wants and what the vendor can do, then there is a role for distribution.”

Moses thus expects the Cloud to encourage greater cooperation between resellers, distributors, and vendors, superseding "the way companies used to collaborate in the past.”

Making sense of the sensible

Moses admits some confusion exists in the market around Cloud, and defines the industry buzz word as “something as-a-Service” delivered by the Internet.

One reason why the term can be confusing is because people say they have a “complete Cloud offering.”

“When we you look at Infrastructure- or Backup-as-a-Service, everyone calls it the Cloud,” he said.

“So we have to be very clear on what it is and what it does.”

Moses addedthat in some cases the Cloud term is used interchangeably with managed services.

“Some customers say they want a Cloud solution, and when we talk to them to find out what they want, it may not be Cloud what they are looking for,” he said.

Moses illustrated this point with a conversation he had with a senior executive from a leading bank, who told him they were moving their infrastructure to the Cloud.

After hearing what the bank wanted from the migration, Moses told the bank executive it was in fact a managed service, whom then conceded that it was.

“But Cloud sounds more sexy, and that was his rationale when we presented it as a Cloud to his board,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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