Cloud aggregators may store up channel conflict

The future of distributors in the cloud does not necessarily entail becoming an aggregator of SaaS offerings, which could lead to increased channel conflict, according to sector VAD Cloud Distribution.

The future of distributors in the cloud does not necessarily entail becoming an aggregator of SaaS offerings, which could lead to increased channel conflict, according to sector VAD Cloud Distribution.

Speaking to MicroScope as the firm announced a ramp up of its partnership with cloud WLAN specialist Meraki - which it brought to the UK last year - company co-founder Greg Harris said he was not convinced this was the right way to approach the cloud.

"We consciously made a decision not to do that, because it's about numbers. You have to have relationships with thousands of VARs; it's very much a broadliner's game," he said.

Harris warned that this could also bring distributors into conflict with larger resellers that have built similar aggregation systems for their customers: "Somewhere along the line that's going to get messy."

"We look at what's needed to enable end-users and branch offices to consume SaaS applications. We're looking for solutions to address new models of accessing information," he added.

Cloud Distribution believes that this approach could theoretically address customer concerns around cloud security, for example, which is frequently cited in CIO surveys as a barrier to cloud adoption in the enterprise.

As part of its push around enabling such technologies, Cloud Distribution today revealed it was on the hunt for new resellers to drive deployments of Meraki's technology, and has already appointed 27-year industry veteran Astro Communications.

Astro also bought into the idea that supplying the underlying infrastructure for the cloud was a more enticing proposition for the channel, according to technical director Steve Smith.

"We have a reputation for helping our clients deploy the right technology for their current and future business needs rather than just promoting the latest technology," he explained.

"When we decided to approach our marketplace from a cloud perspective it was important that we chose a solution that was reliable, secure and robust," Smith added.

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