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Cloud and distributors

1 - Large Players Rely on DistributionLarge Players Rely on Distribution

While only three in 10 hardware and software vendors in the U.S. have at least one distribution relationship, many of those relying on distributors are the biggest players in the IT industry, including Apple, IBM, Cisco, Intel, and Oracle.

2 - Building Cloud OfferingsBuilding Cloud Offerings

Since 2010, large IT distributors such as Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Avnet, Arrow and Synnex have created cloud programs to support their IT vendors and reseller partner channel.

3 - Wooing MSPsWooing MSPs

Although managed service providers have been the least likely of channel companies to engage with distribution, this is changing as the cloud model positions distribution as a central broker for cloud and data center services.

4 - Resellers Still See Value in ProductsResellers Still See Value in Products

Despite the move by traditional IT channel partners to a recurring revenue model, cloud sales and other new ways of doing business, they continue to value their distribution partners’ product-based lines.

5 - One-Stop ShopOne-Stop Shop

The No. 1 value of a distributor is in providing a single place for access to multiple vendors and multiple product lines, which can be applied to cloud-based solutions sourcing, CompTIA said.

6 - Status Quo for Support ServicesStatus Quo for Support Services

Distribution provides support services to the channel, and that is not expected to change in the cloud space. Channel firms will look to distributors to help them find the right cloud solutions for customers by aggregating product selections into one solution.

7 - Positive ImpactPositive Impact

Half the vendor and channel firm respondents to a recent CompTIA survey believe the cloud will have a positive impact on distribution, enabling them to expand into new areas such as cloud services aggregation to help channel companies vet and source cloud solutions. Another three in 10 expect the cloud to be another delivery system for services that distributors will add to their portfolios.

8 - New OpportunitiesNew Opportunities

Nearly 60 percent of channel companies said technical support for cloud solutions is the No. 1 resource they will leverage from distribution in the next two years, followed by aggregation of cloud services (35%), data center accessibility/hosting services (35%), and vetting/evaluating cloud service providers or solutions (33%).

9 - Not Just MiddlemenNot Just Middlemen

Nearly 50 percent of channel partners surveyed by CompTIA believe the biggest challenge distributors face is overcoming the perception that their roles go beyond fulfillment, delivery and serving as intermediaries.

10 - Providing Value-Added ServicesProviding Value-Added Services

46% of channel partners say another challenge distributors face is convincing solution providers that they can add value to cloud services from vendors.