Story image

CompTIA tells: How the channel can benefit from SaaS opportunities

24 Oct 2017

Once viewed as something of a threat for channel businesses, software-as-a-service is now ripe with channel opportunities according to CompTIA, which says SaaS is

Among the benefits SaaS is offering channel are recurring revenue, inroads to vertical industry business, faster time to deployment and services dollars, CompTIA says.

Moheb Moses, CompTIA community director, says many businesses are finding opportunity in SaaS.

“It’s no secret that the IT industry has been steadily evolving from hardware-centric to a software-centric world.

“A myriad of reasons account for this development, but the reality is that software is defining the future, especially in the cloud,” Moses says.

“Thousands of small to large independent software vendors are cropping up to deliver application specific solutions on a subscription basis. Many of them are working with non-traditional go-to-market sources, such as digital marketing agencies. Still others are tapping the resources of traditional channel firms, which are adding SaaS to their portfolios in large numbers.”

But while SaaS offers many opportunities, it also offers plenty of challenges, particularly around the business and economic models required.

Carolyn April, CompTIA senior director of industry analysis, says the question of how to make money from SaaS is one of the main challenges for the channel.

“Many of the vendors/ISVs in the SaaS space are unfamiliar with the traditional indirect channel, which means they lack a formal partner program and indirect sales strategy, or are in the nascent phases of developing one,” April says.

“Partner compensation models are still in the tinkering stages and these things take time.”

CompTIA says there are many operational moves that need to be put into motion, whether adding SaaS to existing offerings or starting as a new channel business.

“Most channel firms focus their training efforts around SaaS based on the existing employee base,” Moses says.

“From a technical training perspective, this includes integration of SaaS applications located in different public clouds or to on-premises software.

“This work often requires API skills and vertical industry knowledge.”

He notes that security skills pertaining to cloud-based tools are also a possible area ripe for retraining.

“From a sales perspective, retraining makes perfect sense as a SaaS deal can take many forms for a channel firm,” Moses says.

“Reselling subscriptions is a primary model, and it requires a different type of sales conversation than, for example, reselling on-premises products.

“Many others in the SaaS world work on a referral basis, aligning themselves with specific SaaS ISVs whose solutiosn they package up and recommend to the customer.”

Moses says in addition to retraining existing staff, channel firms embracing SaaS are hiring new people with the skills required for SaaS, and creating entirely new positions devoted to the discipline in order to fully embrace the opportunities created by the SaaS market.

Bitglass appoints new cloud, business development leaders
The cloud security company has appointed vice presidents for worldwide channels and worldwide business development.
Ping Identity offerings accelerates cloud MFA and SSO adoption
90% of respondents trust MFA as an effective security control to protect identity data in public clouds, yet only 60% of organisations have formally adopted it.
Cloud innovation driving NZ IT services market, says IDC
Managed services makes up the largest portion of total IT services revenue. However, the project-oriented market achieved the highest YoY growth.
Ingram launches CRM backup on cloud marketplace
AvePoint Cloud Backup for Dynamics 365 is a multi-tenant solution, designed with specific features to enable channel partners and MSPs.
Trend Micro introduces cloud and container workload security offering
Container security capabilities added to Trend Micro Deep Security have elevated protection across the DevOps lifecycle and runtime stack.
Veeam joins the ranks of $1bil-revenue software companies
It’s also marked a milestone of 350,000 customers and outlined how it will begin the next stage of its growth.
Veeam enables secondary storage solutions with technology partner program
Veeam has worked with its strategic technology alliance partners to provide flexible deployment options for customers that have continually led to tighter levels of integration.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator update aims to democratise DR
The ability to automatically test, document and reliably recover entire sites, as well as individual workloads from backups in a completely orchestrated way lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) of DR.