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The channel can carve out a business delivering application observability and monitoring, even in the face of competition from the hyperscalers, according to one of the main vendors in the market.
There has been increasing pressure on channel players delivering application and infrastructure monitoring as the big hyperscalers started to muscle in on that space.
But there does continue to be an opportunity for managed service providers and resellers if they accept that reality and look to secure customers by delivering a greater depth of valued services. Michael Allen, vice-president worldwide partners at Dynatrace, said his firm had already seen a change in approach for system integrators.
“These large, regional and global system integrators are running datacentres and hosting the compute workloads of their customers,” he said. “And of course, a lot of those partners have had that business eroded by the hyperscalers as their customers decide to run more and more of their workloads, certainly the cloud-native ones, in the hyperscalers.
“What we’ve seen is that those infrastructure services partners have said, ‘Well, if I can’t beat them and I’m going to lose some of those workloads, let’s partner up with the hyperscalers’. That has driven those partners to really look at a new way, because if you provide an infrastructure, whether it’s delivered by the hyperscalers or delivered by the SI in their own datacentres, or a hybrid of both, the most basic part of that service is that you need to monitor it and make sure it’s available for their customers.”
Allen said observability was an area where the channel could make a difference and more customers were realising that a firm grip on what was happening with their applications were essential.
“In the cloud, the infrastructure for many environments today only exists if the application exists,” he said. “As we move to more as-a-service, serverless functions, all that kind of higher stuff, the infrastructure isn’t there at all unless the applications are computing. So, as a result, it’s really required those partners to have a unified view across both applications and infrastructure from an observability perspective.
“We see our customers turning to digital transformation or trying to do more with less or transform the way they operate.”
Banging the drum about a channel opportunity has the potential to attract interest, but Allen is not looking to expand Dynatrace’s channel too widely.
“I’m not looking for hundreds of new partners,” he said. “I’ve got about 500 worldwide in the partner programme. What I’m looking to do is get more from the partners that we have. If I really scale the volume of partners, then I can’t provide the right attention to those partners, the ones that are really going to matter. It’s not lots of partner acquisition, it’s lots of continual partner development and partner education.”