Avnet Technology Solutions has launched a new tool to help partners in the United States and Canada manage their cloud accounts. Avnet Cloud Toolset (ACT), a component of Avnet Cloud Solutions, helps managed service provider (MSP) and VAR partners consolidate, manage and track cloud accounts across multiple cloud providers.
The tool is designed to ensure that partners’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) and IBM SoftLayer customers have visibility into cloud spending and invoices that track individual and aggregate cloud uses for their organizations. By providing cloud consumption details at a departmental level and enterprise view, ACT helps customers optimize their enterprise-wide AWS and SoftLayer spend.
The toolset provides partners with an aggregated view to track all cloud usage across their accounts. For example, partners can track actual usage charges across major service categories for AWS and SoftLayer, generate bills and invoices, and add third-party services.
“Partners have struggled with managing the volume of information that gets served up to them regarding how their clients or they themselves are using the different cloud services,” Tim FitzGerald, vice president of Cloud Solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, told Channel Insider. “When they have to take that usage data and turn it into an invoice for their clients, it’s important that they not only have accurate information but can distill it and provide it in a way that is meaningful for their end clients.”
The new tool is designed to solve two of the biggest challenges that partners and their customers face by providing cloud consumption details at a departmental level and enterprise view. “Billing continues to be one of the most challenging areas for partners to manage with consumption cloud providers,” said FitzGerald. “One of the big challenges end customers are grappling with is how they can see [what] their companies use when much of that use is decided and executed upon at a departmental level.”
The tool gives partners “a much more effective way to manage usage data, and it helps them substantiate charges on an invoice that would otherwise be much more challenging to do on their own,” said FitzGerald.
These challenges are likely to grow as the cloud services market continues to expand. Global business spending for cloud-related infrastructure and services is forecast to reach $174.2 billion in 2014, up 20 percent from $145.2 billion in 2013, according to IHS Technology. By 2017, enterprise spending on the cloud will reach $235.1 billion by 2017.
Public IT cloud services spending, alone, is expected to reach $56.6 billion in 2014, growing to more than $127 billion in 2018, according to a recent forecast from IDC. The report also found that the current “innovation stage” of the cloud services market will result in a surge in new solutions and value creation on top of the cloud.
Part of the growth may be attributed to lower pricing, which is driving higher cloud adoption by companies of all sizes. In the past year, several of the biggest cloud storage service providers, including AWS, Google and Microsoft, have dropped pricing for their cloud services, pushing more companies to increase their cloud spend and move more applications to the cloud, according to a survey released earlier this year from 2nd Watch.
As these cloud service opportunities grow, tools like Avnet’s Cloud Toolset will help resellers better manage and optimize cloud spend by providing visibility and usage information across multiple platforms.
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.