Channel not buying into IT buzzwords

News Feb 21, 2013

Resellers not yet looking to cloud computing, BYOD or Big Data to grow business says Context

The channel isn’t buying into industry buzzwords like Cloud and Big Data, according to new research.

When asked which technology area offered the best opportunities for their business, services topped the poll, followed by mobility and networking. However, cloud computing, BYOD and Big Data were much further down the list.

“While most of the press and the commentary that we hear about in the IT industry are focused on cloud, telecoms and big data, the channel today doesn’t those areas as opportunities,” comments Howard Davies, CEO of analyst firm, Context, which compiled the research. “It doesn’t mean to say it’s not the biggest opportunity, it’s just that’s how they are perceived today.”

He continues: “It links with the need for training [from distributors]. In practice, what exactly does cloud computing mean for me, as a reseller? What can I actually sell? What skills do I have to acquire? What product do I have to bring before my customer? At the moment a lot of resellers can’t see it.

“We, on the other hand, think there are tremendous opportunities there, but there’s work to be done.”

“The reseller’s biggest problem selling services in the cloud is that it’s consumptive billing,” comments Andy Dow, marketing director at Computer 2000. “Most resellers have built their companies on a basic midmarket accountancy package, which does not support consumptive billing,” he said, adding the distie had just launched its StreamOne solution, which manages billing for resellers.

“I see cloud as the vehicle we can use to change the way we touch the resellers,” he says.

Elsewhere, Context’s research revealed that 42 percent of resellers in Western Europe believe 2013 will be better than 2012.

The most optimistic group among those questioned where etailers with 81 percent believing they will do better in 2013. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the least optimistic are retailers, with only 29 percent in the category hopeful of growth.

According to Davies, to be successful, the channel has to continue to be innovative in its thinking – even in a recession: “There are two types of reseller,” he says. “There is the reseller making use of technology to help companies in recession too become more efficient and get ready for the next wave, and those who are relying on doing ‘old business’ with no value-add…It’s a tribute to the power of technology to make a difference when companies are in difficult situations.”

There was a feeling of general optimism, too, from distributors in attendance at DISTREE EMEA event, where the research was revealed this week.

“People say the market’s complicated right now, it’s scary right now – actually it’s not,” maintains Dow, who described the market as “really, really exciting.”

He continues: “It’s moving, it’s changing, there are new services coming out. It’s actually as much fun as it’s ever been.

“If you want to be scared, you want to have been a reseller in the 1990s when everything was plug and play. No value to be added, no services to be added – that was tough. The opportunity to sell services [today] is immense. It’s actually the best time we’ve had for a long, long time.”

Resellers: Distributors could do better


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Image: Shutterstock

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