As the struggle to make real money from cloud continues, Heather Wright polls some experts for their views on the road ahead.
Brian Bird, Alcatel-Lucent business operations manager, says there's still an underlying apprehension and fear about cloud for many in the channel.
“It fundamentally changes their go-to-market. They need reassurance about what their role is.”
Bird says Alcatel-Lucent opted to keep its SME Office Cloud offerings 'exactly the same' as the CPE cabinets. “So the only move for resellers is to learn to deliver the access mode to the customer. They're not required to learn any new technology.”
The offering can quickly be switched back to on-premise, if for any reason the customer doesn’t like the cloud version.
“There’s no complexity in that.” He says the offering provides ‘the easiest point of entry’ for both resellers and their customers, without a major transformation of business required.
However, he says it’s important too that cloud offerings include all of the capabilities and feature of CPE users expect. Bird is at pains to stress that cloud isn’t a dumbing down of the reseller industry.
“Their skills and capabilities are still required and there’s still very much a place for them in the cloud world, whether hosted by a carrier, service provider or themselves. “But now isn’t the time to be idle. They need to make a decision on the way their business is going to go.”
Bird says building their own cloud may be financially difficult for many resellers, given the initial capital outlay and an ROI of about six to 12 months.
“It really is a very important business planning process to determine your financial capabilities to build up front and wait for the ROI to kick in.”
To read Part 1 - Cloud in the channel… a “matter of life or death” for Kiwi resellers click here