ESG Blog: "Distributed” Clouds for the Channel
Kevin Rhone   ESG Blog: "Distributed” Clouds for the Channel
Author: Kevin Rhone


One of the cool things ESG has is a channel development team that provides insights and guidance to the  companies we work with when they  want to find new ways to engage partners or just bounce ideas for new programs off of us. Since my interests lie mostly in all things cloud, working with my colleague Kevin Rhone I’ve become more and more aware of how much the cloud is also disrupting the channel. Partners are trying to find new ways to leverage the cloud while not losing business to Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). I’ve talked to a number of CSPs who are also trying to find ways to leverage different types of partners  to create a channel of their own so that they can extend their reach (e.g., promote their brand, multiply their sales force and implementation expertise).


Then there is the whole distributor element as part of the partner/VAR eco-system. Traditionally, distributors have provided inventory, logistics, and financing to partners and VARs, and more recently they have expanded their value-add to include advanced training and pre-sales support, plus marketing and lead generation. So how is this changing? What are the distributors doing with cloud and why? I think the why part is easy, well kind of. They too don’t want to lose customers who they have built relationships with over the years. The important thing for the distributor is that they can still offer support for training, expertise, products, and inventory for building clouds, as well as providing their own clouds for resellers to sell. Let’s look at a few of the distributors offerings.


Ingram Micro


Ingram Micro covers the full spectrum of services for resellers and VARs who are interested in selling cloud products or services. Ingram Micro represents over 1,700 vendors including Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.




Arrow has created a special program called Fusion that helps the reseller and VAR learn how to assess and migrate applications to the cloud as well as onboard their customers to cloud services. Arrow works with IBM’s Smartcloud and PeakColo—two examples of cloud services they engage with.




Avnet has a team dedicated to off-premises MSP and cloud services support to help the VAR or reseller get a jump start on building a cloud business. This can be either as a cloud service provider or reselling services from CSPs including AWS and Savvis.


These are just three examples of distributors who have invested in Cloud business units and are working with their partner and VAR community to help them develop their cloud capabilities and grow their business to include cloud. They all include various services that cover security, infrastructure, collaboration, applications, and cloud management.


Recently, ESG published its 2013 Public Cloud Computing Trends research report that showed that 88% of the IT professionals we surveyed are either currently using or planning to use public cloud services this year. We are definitely past the market hype phase and well into the acceleration phase and distribution is helping to lead the way.



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