IT Distributors Moving to Cloud Service Provisioning
IT distributors are currently using three different ways to make cloud computing services available for their computer dealers to resell.
Amazon Consulting and the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) recently published “Redefining Distributor Value,” describing how cloud services investment and risk vary for IT distributors, and how their involvement can range from the tactical to the strategic:
Third-Party Service Referral
In the role of third-party service referral, the distributor facilitates services to be resold by its resellers, but does not participate in the billing.
The attraction for computer resellers, IT solution providers, and managed service providers is the availability.
Third-party service referral represents the least investment and the least risk for IT distributors, but is also the least differentiated. Distributors may use this simply as a lever to sell more mobile computing devices.
Cloud Service Aggregator
By stepping up as a cloud service aggregator, IT distributors can bill for services provided by different vendors, and can combine billing into one invoice, even when different solutions are being provided.
Distributors can select “best in class” solutions and add to them or replace them as desired, while taking the administrative load off of computer resellers, IT solution providers, and managed service providers.
As a service provider, IT distributors build their own strategic cloud services offering.
This is the solution requiring the most investment, and therefore presents the most risk to the distributor. However, it also brings considerable potential for added value for VARs, IT solution providers, and MSPs, who can create their own applications for specific markets and cloud service bundles.
This is a follow-up post to an earlier one on how IT distributors are moving to strategic accompaniment in general. Cloud services are one of the most visible parts of this move and distributors may offer several of these solutions at the same time.
How do you see business opportunities in these different cloud solutions? Will IT distributors’ involvement in this area lead to channel conflict between distributors and VARs? Tell us what you think in the COMMENTS section.
Editor's Note: To learn more, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on the Top 6 Computer Distributors.
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