2015: The channel view
Anyone and everyone is busy offering their predictions for 2015, so here at TechTrade we’ve decided to look at some of the growth areas we covered in 2014 to see which ones could provide more opportunities for partners this year.
Services and the cloud
Cloud is having a profound effect on services and how partners package and provide them. According to IDC, PaaS, SaaS and IaaS services will account for $118 billion in spending in 2015. But at a basic level, channel companies are merely being called upon to do what they have always done in acting as a filter to provide customers with the services they need in the best way for them. Resellers have the ability to aggregate public cloud services provided by the likes of Microsoft with private cloud requirements. Martin Cullen, Microsoft Ireland director SMS&P, describes it as the ability to “aggregate those two worlds and pull together a managed service proposition that encompasses both”.
With customers struggling to cope with all the services offerings coming at them from different cloud providers, the opportunity exists for partners to aggregate them. According to Cullen, partners would be well-advised to make sure cloud services are part of their model in 2015: “Consider the volume of cloud services that are being sold now, it’s seismically different. Cloud Office will be astronomical, it’s almost incomprehensible when you look at how it’s growing.”
Gareth Madden, sales director at MJ Flood, which bet big on Office 365, is equally forceful. “Cloud is where the service model has gone,” he says. But cloud “still needs a trusted advisor to provide local support and a managed service that customers will want”. That is essentially the ongoing role channel partners will play in 2015.
Partners are also likely to benefit if the move to Office 365 acts as an enabler for organisations considering other cloud services. As Karen O’Connor, general manager service delivery at Datapac states: “Whether it’s communications, business applications, security or ERP; there’s a huge array of services that can now be delivered through the cloud.”
Flash not saviour of universe (yet)
Depending on who you talk to, hard disk drives (HDDs) are either thriving, faltering or dying as Flash and solid state drives (SSDs) become pervasive. But despite all the arguments in favour of adopting Flash, there are still very strong reasons why hard disk is attractive for many organisations (and for partners to sell them). It is still the mainstream source of storage because cost per Gb is significantly lower than for SSDs – and it is a tried and tested technology.
At present, many businesses are opting for a hybrid approach as the more effective and cost efficient way of getting the best out of both technologies. Hybrid storage has been adopted by all types of businesses from SMEs to enterprises because it can provide SSD performance with hard disk capacity. In the words of Mark Carragher, technical director at Qualcom: “The business gets all the benefits with a cost point to match.”