Channel partners need to adopt an enlightened approach when it comes to selling and servicing cloud-based products. Here are 3 key tips that these technology solution providers should follow to surmount the challenges they face and maximize their potential in the cloud.
#1: Invest in sustained innovation
As cloud has become more pervasive, customers’ expectations have changed and larger customer segments are investigating what it means to move to DaaS and/or outsourced IT. In this changing market, the channel partners who flourish will be those that embrace the cloud. This means that they'll pivot from an outdated reseller model and instead take on the role of active, strategic advisors to their customers.
In order to differentiate themselves from the competition, partners need to consider sustained innovation. They should re-think their customer offerings with the following in mind:
- Customers are in the drivers seat
- Solutions are business-led
- Outcomes and costs are predictable and competitive
- Mobility and security capability are table stakes
- Enterprises and mid-market customers with complex environments are now actively seeking DaaS or hosted workspace offerings
- Speed of delivery and management simplicity are important
- Support and management services outsourcing is as valuable as the platform itself
#2: Recognize new partnering models from "born-in-the- cloud" vendors
The new world of born-in-the-cloud companies and products require new partnering models. They need programs that are also born-in-the-cloud, unencumbered by traditional partnering models.
The Workspot VDI 2.0 and DaaS 2.0 solutions are both born-in-the-cloud solutions. These solutions transform where partners can add value and charge for services. With DaaS you can deploy VDI in a day. And because it's so simple, TCO has been reduced by 50-90% compared to VDI 1.0 solutions. Upgrades of the VDI elements, control plane and clients is seamless and dynamic. This means that the need for the customer or partner to maintain a large pool of VDI technical resources is minimized.
However, it also means that existing resellers and service providers must re-think where and how they add value into a customer's solution. Today’s world requires an ecosystem of partnering relationships with vendors, partners and public cloud providers like MS Azure.
Workspot enables partners to shift where they invest in resources and skills so that they can move up the customer value chain by offering higher value services. We are evolving our partner models to where we facilitate a subscription-based reseller program. With our Certified Consulting Partner program, customer engagement, risk and margin is shared. It's a great opportunity for Workspot partners to move away from low margin installation services and shift to recurring revenue streams based on high value consulting and app and desktop lifecycle management.
#3: Adapt and bolster offerings with complementary solutions
We believe customers are seeking partners for a variety of IT needs. Customers not only want guidance on the best cloud solutions to meet their needs, they are also looking for partners that can offer services that are complementary to DaaS 2.0, such as backup and recovery, database hosting, disaster recovery, etc.
Today, channel providers should focus on staffing their organizations with highly experienced cloud experts who are uniquely qualified to offer the consultative services that end-users will increasingly expect from the channel. Moving forward, customers will turn to the channel for key help navigating the cloud.
A cloud-savvy partner will also bundle and position adjacent services or solutions for customers to increase margins, profitability and total customer value. Examples include:
- Desktop management and end-user compute services
- Additional infrastructure (Azure, on-prem)
- Implementation and data migration services
- Office 365 & other software subscriptions
- End point security and risk assessment
The cloud-first world is an exciting place full of opportunity for channel partners to contribute greater strategic value to make customers successful.