2015 – The Year of Channel Transformation

2015 will be the year in which most major on prem vendors really begin to drive out their cloud channel transformation programs.   The two poles of the transformation are Iaas where the transformation will be lead by HP, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, and Vmware who all have on-prem channels that need to shift; and in Saas by Oracle, SAP, Microsoft who have a similar need to shift from on-prem to on-demand.

Many have begun on this journey, but real scale will be achieved in 2015.   Microsoft is probably ahead of the curve in this regard, and they have been working with their partners for a few years now in helping them migrate their business models:

But this year the steady stream of demand moving to Cloud is due to turn into a torrent, and the channel will really be faced with the need to sink or swim.  See this recent IDC study which concludes

About a third of the money companies around the world spent on servers, disk storage systems, and Ethernet switches in Q3 2014 was for cloud infrastructure”

This means if you’re a major technology vendor, channel player, or ecosystem partner, and you don’t have a defined and directed channel transformation roadmap, the wheels are going to quickly fall off your train!

3 Transformation Themes to Consider if you are a vendor: 

  1.  Think about the problem holistically, recognizing that this is more of a business transformation than a commercial or technical one.

  2. Ensure that there is a compelling business case inclusive of investment, risk and return, that passes muster before the ‘offering’ is thrown over the fence to the VAR

  3. This transformation will not be business as usual – How you organize to drive the change will have a huge bearing on success (For example: Vendors will need to start compensating people on Business Development not traditional VAR PAM cash register ringing in Q1 etc, etc).

Our next blog will look at the key stages of the transformation roadmap itself.

– Digital Bridge Partners

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