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Channel key to greasing the public cloud wheels

Both customers and public cloud vendors benefit from the involvement of partners to provide expertise and feedback

The channel has a vital role to play in ensuring that customers get the public cloud experiences they want and their experiences in the hosted world do not end in disappointment.

Although it appears to be easy for a customer to dial up some public cloud access with a credit card in hand the reality is that to ensure it all delivers there needs to be a service provider involved.

KCOM provides an example of how it should work from both a partner and vendor perspective with the firm enjoying relationships with AWS, Microsoft and Google.

The AWS connection goes back the longest, with the two working together for more than a decade, and earlier this summer KCOM gained accreditation to become a partner for Amazon Connect, delivering cloud contact centres.

Wayne Stallwood, head of the AWS cloud practice at KCOM, said that there was a strong recognition of the value that partners could bring.

"There is a lot to gain from working with a partner and they need to experience of the partner," he added "Cloud services are the building blocks but without expertise cloud projects are likely to fail."

"The solution that network advisors can provide the customer with provide a deep dive into their business needs," he said it included looking at the architecture and other areas, including security.

For the vendors not only are firms like KCOM supporting customers but they are also getting feedback on what developments they need to make to appeal to a wider user base.

Stallwood said that it had been able to give suggestions to AWS, "customers have told us that they would move workloads if they had these features".

Other cloud specialists have also made the point that some of the barriers holding back wider customer adoption are more likely to be overcome by sitting down and working with a channel player with plenty of experience.

James Bedford, director of infrastructure services at CPiO, said that concerns about security, which are held  by many customers, could be answered and removed as a reason not to use more public cloud platforms.

"Cloud computing is a tried and tested model, used globally by organisations of all manner and size. Hosting business applications in the cloud could improve both reliability and security and greatly boost business efficiency. Businesses should not fear the adoption of new technology but embrace it," he said.

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