Gartner now forecasts that worldwide public cloud services revenue for 2017 will reach $260 billion, driven by another strong year for SaaS, and faster than anticipated growth in IaaS services. This illustrates the sheer pace at which businesses continue to embrace the benefits of the Cloud as we accelerate faster into the 4th industrial revolution.
A recent roundtable with a selection of Ingram Micro’s partners illustrated that many resellers are now looking at how they can capitalise on the opportunity presented by IaaS, as services like Azure are the fastest growing in the market today. According to Gartner, Infrastructure as a Service grew 36.6 percent globally this year to $34.7 billion, and some partners are already taking advantage of the growth opportunity. But thriving and succeeding in the world of IaaS is a very different challenge, in comparison with selling Office 365, and a very different ‘channel’ ecosystem to navigate.
In their latest Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service, Gartner positioned Amazon and Microsoft as leaders. Both businesses offer end users a direct and a partner model to engage with their respective IaaS services. Research commissioned by Ingram Micro in the summer of 2017 found that 42% of end users buy from both resellers and direct from developers. Feedback from partners tells us that one of the most important factors in succeeding with services such as Azure is having a skilled workforce, and those that do see the challenge of direct vendors businesses as an opportunity rather than a risk.
Having a good knowledge of technology is the foundation for building success in the world of IaaS, but knowing where to start can be a challenge. Many partners that are already succeeding with Azure focus on the ‘business outcome’ rather than the product. Indeed, feedback from partners suggest that end users don’t necessarily care where a desktop is hosted – just that it works. End customers are also becoming increasingly savvier, often utilising social media tools such as LinkedIn to evaluate potential business partners. Having a strong and clear value that is consistent through brand messaging is therefore essential for capturing the hearts and minds of customers.
Partnering is a proven option for overcoming barriers to entry such as skills gaps in sales, marketing or technical or platform or service capabilities. Many resellers partner with a distributor (or Cloud Services Provider) to plug the holes in their proposition. Ingram Micro has invested heavily into IaaS in 2017 to help our partners succeed – including adding more technical and IaaS sales resources and focusing more on education to help partners get started with Azure.
We will continue to invest more in our partners IaaS success in 2018, and I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead.
To find out more about Azure or how Ingram Micro can help you begin your IaaS journey, contact one of our experts today via Cloud@ingrammicro.co.uk or call 0371 973 3060.