Distribution will continue to play a critical role in a cloud market delivering services and support to resellers on behalf of vendors, according to IBM.
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Big Blue took the wraps off its SmartCloud service this week with an ecosystem to run alongside to support resellers and developers but used the launch as an opportunity to underline its belief in distribution.
Some market watchers had raised doubts about the long-term role of distribution in a market where applications and services are available through the web.
But Michael Heegaard, North East Europe business partner cloud director at IBM, said that distribution would continue to have a major role to play.
"We fundamentally need distribution partners to do the same as they ever have done," he said.
"They help enablement, physical delivery and integration of different offerings for partners and the only thing they will not need to do is the physical delivery but there will be other things they start doing," he added.
Some of the additional services distribution is expected to add to the mix include taking billing to a more sophisticated level for partners wanting to charge for applications on a pay-as-you-use basis.
Steve Groom, CEO of IBM partner Vissensa, said that distribution continued to be vital because it meant it didn't have to rely on the vendor because distie partners had that relationship with Big Blue and could add value to resellers.