Over the last year, we’ve seen more than 20% growth in the number of Interconnects, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and Carriers that have joined our channel partner program.
Of the 30,000+ potential channel partners in the US, we have only scratched the surface of the opportunity to help partners capture new revenue from cloud services. It is interesting to look at why some businesses have made the move already and why others have yet to adopt cloud.
Simply put, customers are asking for cloud services and need advice on what services to adopt. The risk for partners is that they fail to serve a growing need within their client base and they become irrelevant to customers, as their recommendations no longer match expectations. This is driving cloud adoption within the channel, but not all channel partners have made the move.
So why are some channel partners tentative about transforming their businesses with cloud services?
ESG says that some partner transformations are hindered by the reliance on selling traditional products and the lack of sales and service skills, as well as what is perceived as financial risk. All of these are natural elements of change and must be weighed against the benefits of investing time and resources into something new.
Channel partners with strong revenue coming from traditional products still need to think about their future. Transforming a channel business to deliver cloud services doesn’t have to be a case of swapping one service for the other. They can continue to deliver premises-based services while adding cloud to their portfolio, so they can capture today as well as the future.
Developing skills to sell cloud services is important and with a SaaS platform provider, they can get the support they need. Channel partners should feel like they aren’t on their own when they adopt cloud services. The SaaS platform provider should be their guide as they prepare to sell cloud services.
The financial risk of adopting cloud services is minimal when working with a SaaS platform provider. It is a capex-light model that shifts much of the technology costs from capex to opex. This limits the financial risk and makes entering the cloud market simple and profitable.
We believe the phenomenal growth we saw in 2014 will only continue in 2015 because the customer demand is there and the arguments against transforming a channel business to sell cloud services are fewer and fewer each day.