Climbing to the Higher Cloud
Cloud computing is undoubtedly the consumption model of the future. Customers — from small businesses to enterprises — are shifting IT resources and applications to the cloud to capitalize on cost savings, scalability, flexibility and expanded capabilities. The channel is critical to the future success of cloud computing, but many channel partners are struggling to make money through the resale of cloud products and services. The answer, some say, is that channel partners need to focus beyond common cloud services and develop Higher Cloud practices.
Channel Partners asked Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, about Higher Cloud services, what they mean to channel partners and what it will take for partners to develop these advanced capabilities. Walsh will expand on the Higher Cloud trends during his keynote address, “Delivering the Higher Cloud: Channel Partners’ Road Map,” at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, Sept. 8-10, in New Orleans.
Channel Partners: When you think about the Higher Cloud, what does it mean and how does it translate to channel partner practices?
Larry Walsh: In the channel, complexity has always been our friend. The more complex a technology or system, the less likely an end user will be able to do it on their own without the assistance of a technically qualified professional or organization. The cloud is no different.
Cloud computing has tremendous potential for delivering complex systems and applications with greater scale and efficiency. Creating those systems isn’t easy; especially those that amplify business value and open new opportunities. They require higher levels of integration, customization and enablement.
Higher Cloud is the product of channel partners that invest in advanced integration, business consultation and professional services. Channel partners that invest in building or acquiring higher levels of application and cloud expertise will not just differentiate from their peers, they will command higher prices and margins, and enjoy accelerated growth.
Channel Partners: What do channel partners have to do to reach for the Higher Cloud? What are the market trends that require them to strive for complexity?
Larry Walsh: The channel has two cloud problems. First, few channel partners have achieved critical mass for cloud performance. Second, many cloud solutions sold through the channel are already commoditized.
Note: Download the three-part Digital Issue series that explores the shift to the Higher Cloud from the Higher Cloud Immersion Center.