Managing the cloud transition

Denis Fouquet, VP EMEA software and cloud at Tech Data, discusses the importance of guaranteeing a consistent outcome whilst tailoring solutions to meet end customer needs.

The impact of the digital transformation currently sweeping across the business environment at the moment is two-fold. In the first instance, many organisations have found efficiencies that will deliver productivity gains well into the future and have set the foundations for growth. However, at the same time this change brings complexity.

It has been known for some time that migrating services to the cloud is not as simple as lifting and shifting and carrying on as you were.

As more organisations migrate to the cloud in order to the reap the benefits, those in the Channel are being tasked with helping to iron out the complexity that it brings. Whilst not true for all partners, there are still many who are beginning out on this transition to cloud services on their own and finding themselves less able to compete.

At the same time, there is still a sense of the unknown amongst some customers when it comes to deploying in the cloud. To be successful, partners need to deliver consistent outcomes to meet their customer’s needs and guarantee better results for their business.

The right tool

You can think about the cloud as a large toolbox. There can be hundreds of different tools available, but you need to know which is the right one for the job and how to use it. For partners in a cloud-enabled market, having the ability to successfully select, implement and deploy the correct solutions is a prerequisite for success.

Moreover, you have to be able to have a way of optimising a solution for 20 users and also for 100 or more users. Being able to navigate this complexity can be seen as either a challenge or as value, but either way it requires knowledge and expertise across a variety of vendors and technologies.

As partners look to plan their entry into the cloud market, it is worth making use of the enablement and resources offered through the channel. Services are available to help them develop a comprehensive cloud strategy which addresses the skills, tools and processes they need to successfully build a profitable and future-proof cloud practice. On top of this, it is possible to access IT resources without upfront investment, cutting CAPEX investments and helping to reduce the risk as partners build their customer base.

Go to market

Fortunately, many of the most common use cases are horizontal. Organisations moving to the cloud are always going to need virtual machines, back-up facilities, data protection and advanced security.

The upshot of this is that there are now pre-configured, out-of-the-box solutions for these use cases in the market that are available for partners to sell to their customers more effectively and with fewer risks. The availability of these solutions provides different benefits to partners at different stages of their own cloud journey.

For partners that are just starting out in the cloud market, the advantage is that these solutions allow them to get to market much faster whilst also delivering consistent outcomes. This consistency is particularly critical. When cloud deployments don’t work as expected, not only does it create a difficult customer relationship, but it also requires extra resources and skills to solve the issue. Concerns from partners around these difficulties and costs are exactly why many are hesitant to enter the market in the first place. However, by removing these barriers, it is much easier for partners to engage their customers on cloud solutions with confidence and early in the process.

For those partners that are more mature, the benefit of these pre-architected solutions is that they can help them achieve greater operational efficiency for themselves. These partners have the skills, understand the business processes involved, and understand how to structure the solutions. However, when presented with the opportunity to make use of ready-made building blocks, the opportunity to simplify the process and speed up the deployment is clear.

Cloud nine

Ultimately, the use of these click to run solutions is done to ensure that partners can consistently and quickly meet the needs of their customers. These needs are varied, from reducing costs, to improving their employee’s performance, or building a more secure and reliable IT practice. In doing so, partners have an incredible opportunity to expand their portfolio and offer a wider selection of solutions that produce successful business outcomes.

From our own experience, we have seen partners adding significant value to their business by leveraging these solutions, with some accelerating their growth by as much as 250 percent. By taking solutions that guarantee a consistent outcome and are regularly being updated to allow them to be tailored to end customer needs, partners can be confident in their ability to either build or grow their cloud business to meet the growth in demand we are currently experiencing.

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