Four tips for partners looking to drive innovation in the cloud

Cloud migration has the tendency to cause a bit of a headache for partners. It creates new skill demands which require some heavy investment, such as the costs of personnel training or hiring new talent to handle the technical

Michael Fischermanns, vice president cloud solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

Michael Fischermanns, vice president cloud solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

migration, which for smaller partners just doesn’t seem worthwhile. Yet, IDC has predicted that worldwide spending on IT infrastructure for cloud environments will grow by 12.5% year on year, reaching $57.8billion in 2020 – so this is an area partners need to address sooner rather than later. And distributors can play a large role in supporting that transition.

Here are four tips for partners looking to make the leap:

Flexible billing options:

The pay-as-you-go promise of IT services accessed via the cloud has helped bolster the mainstream adoption of cloud technology among businesses globally. We’ve entered an era where end-user organisations now seek the same flexibility in business as they do in their personal life. They don’t necessarily want to pay for what they’re not using, and this pay-as-you-go mentality is bringing both subscription and consumption billing models to the fore.

Operational expenditure verses capital expenditure is a big driver for cloud migration, as finance teams look to move away from the expensive process of buying and managing hardware. Partners can consider introducing various billing options for software and services such as consumption-based models for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) alongside subscription models for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). They can also look to distributors to help create and manage a unique custom solution for customers that combines consumption and subscription models.

Multi-vendor solutions:

Vendors are the main drivers of growth in the cloud market. With so many cloud offerings from a multitude of vendors, it’s possible to integrate these offerings into a package that combines services and solutions from multiple sources and create a complete cloud solution for customers. Bespoke cloud solutions also enable partners to expand their capabilities and diversify their offering to attract new customers in areas where they might not have been able to before. Combine this with consolidated billing and suddenly you’re in a position to offer customers a truly unique proposition. Distributors are in a position here to act as matchmakers who can help partners deliver an end-to-end cloud solution without the headache caused by multiple vendors.

Leverage the skills pool:

It’s time for partners to stop using the technical skills shortage as an excuse not to be the trusted advisor for their customers. Organisations will move to the cloud regardless of where they get their support from, and if the partners won’t help with the migration effort, they risk losing their customer to a competitor. This is another area where distributors can help – with a broad base of partners, many distributors have invested in the technical skills to help plan, execute and manage cloud migration projects. Partners can take advantage of the distributor’s skills pool to make their own customer’s cloud migration project a success.

White label solutions:

Offering a unique solution can be a key differentiator for partners in the market.  Again, distributors like Avnet are able to provide access to a white-label portal of cloud products and services, to help partners make cloud solutions their own. A white-label solution allows partners to have an immediate cloud presence with their own brand, look and feel – an online store which is unique to them and specific to their customers. White-label options, supported by architect skills through to managed solutions, also allow partners to add value to the cloud market in a cost-effective and efficient way, getting innovative solutions to market quickly.

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This post was written by on June 28, 2016