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Vendors need to be doing more to help the channel make the transition to selling cloud-based services with many in the channel feeling that current efforts are falling well short.
Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Intermedia has revealed the channel is struggling to make the move to the cloud as a result of skill shortages, marketing problems and challenges with handling a changing workplace culture.
The fact that high levels of those surveyed were reporting problems with skills, staff and how to position themselves as a cloud specialist might explain why although 99% recognised the potential of selling hosted services, only 65% were currently doing so.
Pleas for help were being aimed by some in the channel at the vendor community, with 26% of respondents feeling that not enough was currently being done to support those trying to make a transition.
The sort of help that vendors could supply includes guidance on contracts and SLAs as well as technical support.
“The channel is clearly struggling when it comes to cloud deployments and is missing out on major opportunities as a result. We have seen end-user adoption of cloud-based services rocket in recent years, with 78% of end user organisations using at least one cloud-based service today, up from 61% in 2012, but the channel hasn’t been able to keep up with demand," said Alex Hilton, CEO of CIF.
"Resellers that do sell cloud services are reporting a wide range of benefits, from improved competitive edge to extended revenues and market reach. This puts channel resellers that haven’t yet made the move at a distinct disadvantage," he added.
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CIF and Intermedia found a number of reasons why resellers were struggling with the transition to cloud.
There were the most common issues:
• 82% view cultural changes within the organisation to be a challenge
• 81% have experienced staff skills shortages
• 80% have come up against difficulties surrounding their cloud marketing and positioning
There has been help provided in the channel by distributors and some vendors but the results of the survey indicate that perhaps that approach has left out a portion of resellers that have not been able to tap into that support.
Eric Weiss, senior vice president of marketing at Intermedia, said that greater levels of support were needed, but that beyond that there also needed to be ongoing assistance to resellers.
“Beyond tailored levels of support and technical expertise, partners need help differentiating, which is why 82% of respondents incorporate value-adds and 59% view white label programmes as ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to their success," he said.