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Rhipe Cloud Channel Summit 2015: tomorrow’s reseller needs to understand change

By Shannon Williams, 15 Apr 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The challenges in the world of the CIO are changing quite significantly, bringing challenges to today’s resellers.

This is the word of Stephen Parker, vice president of market research at Rhipe, speaking to a packed audience at the Rhipe Cloud Channel Summit in Auckland today.

“With that situation brings a challenge. The challenge is that you have to change, and change can be difficult,” Parker says.

“We are constantly changing to meet the needs of our customers. We exist to service you guys so you can be more effective in the market.”

Parker says there has been a fundamental change in the conversation about cloud in Australia and New Zealand.

“All of our customers for one reason or another are asking about the cloud,” he says. “They want you to be that trusted advisor.  And if you don’t have a sensible response, you’re breaking rule 101 of sales. 

“Sales is largely about overcoming the customer’s objection, so they can buy the thing they want to buy.  They want to buy the cloud, but they’ve got concerns.”

Parker says security has been the single biggest objection raised by customers whenever anything new has come along in tech.

“The cloud isn’t a new thing that has brought about security concerns,” Parker says. “And yet, if that’s the biggest single objection of why customers won’t go to the cloud, why do we not have dedicated cloud practises?

“Because if we can get that right, we open up that dam of opportunity and that will flow through to us.”

Parker tells resellers to sit down with customers and work out how they can solve security problems for them, in a sensible, meaningful way. “It’s about having a conversation about how security is an enabler for their business.

Your job is to make sure that security is not a problem anymore but is in fact solved in such a way that it allows them to enable their business. There are massive opportunities there.”

Tomorrow’s reseller: understand change

  • IT is becoming more strategic as boards seek to drive innovation. Innovation is now critical for good governance.
  • Cloud/XaaS is a key enabler and for most CIOs is driving IT spending growth.
  • Customers still need hand holding to cloud, understand their language and adapt to their level maturity.
  • IT budgets are shifting to lines of business, but IT will be critical to the long term success of technology investments.
  • Improving customer service (both internet and external customers) across existing and emerging touch points is becoming critical.
  • The winners will be resellers that can talk to these issues, and provide solutions that address these changing market dynamics.
  • On-premise only distributors will get left behind!

Parker says Rhipe's fastest growing partners are those who are rapidly expanding their service offerings. “Faster growing partners are delivering more services to their customers as they are expanding their service offerings more rapidly than those who are growing slowly,” he says.

Parker says the focus of the Rhipe summit is not a product or a programme, but about businesses changing the questions and changing the way they want to interact with resellers.

“They want you to be a holistic solution, a one stop shop,“ he explains. “They want you to be serviced based, they don’t want you to be selling a product, and ultimately they want you to be selling business solutions, not technology.”

“CIOs. Their world is changing. And your world is changing because of that. Rhipe has had to change as well,” says Parker. “We’ve now expanded significantly and our tagline is The Cloud Channel Company.

“The bottom line is you need to be agile. If you’re not agile, there will be other companies who will be,” he says.

“You need to dare to be different. You have to fundamentally question whether what you do is still the right thing to do. Just because it was profitable five years ago does not mean it is going to be profitable in the future.

“We’re passionate about your success,” Parker adds, “but let me be brutally honest; it’s self fulfilling. Bet on the horse that’s got self interest written on its side; it’s likely to win.”

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