The future role of the comms channel in light of the rise of the cloud is set to dominate the agenda at this year’s Convergence Summit South. The debate will be lead by Andy Burton, chair of the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) at the opening session at the Convergence Summit South 2012 at 10.30am on 3rd October at Sandown Park, Surrey.
The two-day event, hosted by Comms Business magazine, has been bringing together members of the voice, mobile and data reseller communities for 11 years and is a key fixture on the channel calendar.
Findings from the latest CIF research demonstrate that 74 per cent of UK IT channel organisations believe that the market is ready to embrace cloud services and resellers in the UK have started to recognise the need to carry cloud solutions and services.
Andy Burton commented: “Far from the emergence of the cloud contributing to the demise of the IT channel, our findings indicate that the channel has more opportunities to embrace the cloud as part of its value proposition as more organisations migrate to the cloud but require a mix of services,”
“There has been a noticeable increase in speculation over the future of the IT channel as a direct result of end user adoption of cloud computing. However, our own research indicates that the IT channel is in fact evolving and embracing the cloud opportunity as a key part of its value proposition, intending to bring real value to its customer base in turn.”
Burton will also detail the business case for the channel to adopt cloud service provisioning and will discuss what he sees as the three-way relationship between customers, channel partners and vendors and how that needs to evolve in the cloud environment.
“There is a real sense of opportunity within the channel to sell cloud services. In order to capitalise on this opportunity, vendors should be responsible for educating resellers in terms of best practice implementations, offering white label capabilities if required and enabling commercial flexibility in the way services are sold on,” he added.
“Our research is encouraging by showing that software vendors within the channel are not trying to reinvent their whole commercial model at the same time as they are re-engineering the technical delivery model. Though there is yet to be any consistent standards emerging in regard to the structuring of incentives, margins and service level structures such that every vendor still has a fairly unique approach.”
Andy Burton will be available for further comment on the day once the debate has taken place.