Cloud Briefing

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Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions recently held a SolutionsPath briefing on cloud computing at its head office in Bracknell. The audience heard David Bradshaw, research manager, applications and solutions at IDC EMEA, present the IDC vision of the cloud and its impact on the IT market in the future.

IDC sees the market opportunity in the UK and Ireland for public cloud growing from £1bn in 2010 to over £4bn by 2015 with the largest compound annual growth in the area of Platform as a Service (PaaS), where computing is provided as a cloud-based service. Further predictions were that 80 percent of new enterprise applications will be developed for the cloud and that by 2014 the cloud will account for 30 percent of the IT spend on enterprise applications.

Bradshaw said, “The channel cannot afford to ignore what is happening in terms of cloud computing, and it has three options: business as usual, become a cloud services provider or build a proposition around other vendors’ cloud services. The first option is tenable for now but will lead to a very uncertain future. The second option to become a cloud services provider has good potential, but only for those who have the scale and/or specialisation to stand out from the crowd. However, the third option, to become a channel partner for the cloud, is potentially the source of a strong and long-lasting revenue stream and the best long-term path. There is no doubt the cloud needs the channel, and now is the time to act.”

According to event delegate Simon Perrin, director, Network Centric Support, “This type of briefing is just what business owners like me require to establish the best platforms for our customers to embrace. The IT managed services market is changing fast and Network Centric Support, thanks to Avnet, has now singled out its cloud platform so that our customers will see true value and extensive return on investment (ROI) over the coming months.”

The Avnet CloudReady methodology prepares business partners to gain the specialised knowledge and skills needed to quickly build and grow a profitable cloud computing business through enablement programmes, professional services and targeted cloud solution offerings.

Stephen Ennis, services business development director at Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA, said, “Avnet’s CloudReady education track enables our business partners to position themselves to their customers as a trusted cloud advisor. We see this as one of the key roles business partners can play in the cloud market. Avnet also identified cloud builder, cloud provider, cloud reseller and cloud integrator as important roles for business partners. As the IDC research showed, there is potential for everyone to play to their strengths as the cloud market matures.”

Avnet’s capability in the cloud computing market was further illustrated recently with accreditations from IBM and HP. The company was awarded IBM Cloud builders Specialty certification endorsing its ability to provide cloud solutions incorporating IBM software and hardware across Europe. In addition, Avnet was designated an HP Cloud Centre of Excellence, allowing Avnet and its partners to showcase a wide spectrum of “out of the box” cloud computing solutions and services from HP. Further presentations at the SolutionsPath briefing included Avnet’s HP Cloud-in-a-Box Solution, IBM SmartCloud for Enterprise and IBM Cloud Computing Specialty, as well as EMC Cloud Storage solutions.

Bruce Hockin, SolutionsPath business development director, Avnet Technology Solutions, UK, concluded, “Cloud services present a huge opportunity for business partners to add yet more value to customers. The biggest asset they have is knowledge of their customers. Working with end-user organisations to select the best services to suit their needs and helping integrate those services in a safe and secure environment enables business partners to take the role as trusted cloud advisors for the long term. To further assist business partners, Avnet’s SolutionsPath methodology features dedicated technology teams. This enables partners to select the appropriate multi-vendor solutions to implement while helping to reduce associated risks and costs.”