How Cloud Computing Is Transforming IT Distribution

 
 
By Gina Roos  |  Posted 2014-03-05 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Large Players Rely on Distribution
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    Large 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.
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    2 - Building Cloud Offerings
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    Building 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.
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    3 - Wooing MSPs
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    Wooing 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.
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    4 - Resellers Still See Value in Products
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    Resellers 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.
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    5 - One-Stop Shop
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    One-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.
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    6 - Status Quo for Support Services
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    Status 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.
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    7 - Positive Impact
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    Positive 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.
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    8 - New Opportunities
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    New 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%).
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    9 - Not Just Middlemen
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    Not 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.
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    10 - Providing Value-Added Services
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    Providing 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.
 

The cloud is bringing about a sea change in IT distribution, according to a recent paper from CompTIA. In addition to financial and technological challenges, IT distributors face other obstacles, such as the perceptions of some of channel partners that distributors don't add value to services from cloud vendors. CompTIA said there will be a "need for a new type of provider" that can "aggregate multivendor technologies at scale across both physical and virtual boundaries." That's already occurring; large IT distributors such as Arrow, Avnet, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data have been developing cloud-related programs to support their IT vendors and reseller partner channel for several years. These programs provide tools (enablement, branding and training) to help resellers succeed in the cloud space. They also help resellers add services, and many of the programs are designed to make it easier for reseller partners to sell the offerings and services as full packages and better manage relationships with their end customers. CompTIA research shows that channel partners plan to use distribution for tech support, aggregation of cloud services, data center accessibility, hosting services and more. Read on to learn more about CompTIA's conclusions about the distributor's role in cloud computing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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