2012: Year of non-traditional resellers and channel partnerships
- 25 January, 2012 22:00
Consumerisation of IT and wireless computing are putting pressure on enterprise network managers to “rethink their strategies,” says Ian Quinn, New Zealand country manager for Juniper Networks.
The company, which makes ISP-level networking gear, has seen almost “every corporate customer...grappling with that issue at the moment.”
“The increase in the number of devices is bringing a number of challenges,” he says, mostly around security, responsibility for so much data going in and out of a network and asset management, confounded by the BYOD trend which places personal and corporate data on the same end-points.
“We did a survey earlier [in 2011] globally showing a 44 percent of employees are using smartphones for personal and business use,” he says. “That’s really a problem that most corporates are trying to address at the moment.”
Juniper is seeing more of its customers going virtual, and more hardware moving off-premise and into the datacentre, and with hybrid networks adding to customer’s problems associated with consumerisation of IT.
“People are grappling with virtualised workload management,” Quinn says. “It’s important that while the network provides high performance it presents a simplified view to a virtualised world. If the virtualised environment has to have too much knowledge detail around the network topology and performance it complicates people’s ability to dynamically move workloads around.”
While the commoditisation of many aspect of IT, such as SaaS and IaaS, has put pressure on resellers, their customers still need problem-solvers.
“It really puts focus on innovating in new areas,” Quinn says. “Those areas that require innovation at the moment, those are the ones that aren’t commoditised at the moment and have higher value to the customers.”
But the cloud presents competition from non-traditional players.
“As you see the shift of applications from being exclusively deployed on premise and migrating into the cloud, you’re definitely going to see the service providers targeting that opportunity, what they have been targeting for the last couple of year, but there’s a lot of opportunity for integrators and providers in their own right or partnering to get into those services.”
To Quinn, partnerships among resellers, especially hosted application providers, and ISPs, will improve competitiveness the partners’ competitiveness.
“You partner to compete,” he says. “Especially as people have niche innovative applications, the fastest way to market is to partner with bigger service providers because they have a bigger customer base. It’s just a faster way to market.”
“Partnership guarantees the service provider control over networks,” he adds. “They offer assurances around performance and availability and if you match those up with management of hosted applications you can deliver a more assured application partnership as opposed to just delivering it across the internet.”
Quinn anticipates that service providers will go out to market to look for partners to work with on specific “innovative applications”. Other partnerships may form out of existing customer relationships and networking.
This will become more important as UFB is deployed through the decade, enabling cloud services to be deployed on a wider scale.