A cloud provider that wants to build a successful VAR/agent channel must commit to assisting their partners in transforming their sales models for cloud.

Channel Partners

April 2, 2014

2 Min Read
Partner Enablement: Critical in the Cloud Transformation

By Barry Adams

As more and more VARs and agents form channel relationships with the cloud providers, I see a common theme in that 10 percent of these VARs and agents are producing 90 percent of the channel cloud revenue. And that cloud revenue is not growing at the same rate as the revenue being produced by the direct sales teams of these same providers. This leads me to believe that we have a tremendous opportunity to grow this channel revenue contribution, at the same time providing substantial high-margin revenue growth for the channel partner.

If you look at many of the cloud providers themselves, many have come from a traditional telecommunications sales model. Their processes for transforming their businesses to include cloud-based solutions should be replicated for their channel partners.

What are some key areas for this transformation?

1. Sales Enablement/Training

  • What is the opportunity and who to sell to?

  • Financial – opex vs. capex and/or opex reduction benefits

  • Capturing opportunity in existing account base

2. Marketing

  • How does the channel partner make it easier for customer to research their cloud solution?

  • How to enable the customer to buy with less salesperson interaction?

3. Services

  • Cloud assessment offers

  • Application migration offers

The cloud providers who are going to build a successful VAR and agent channel will be the ones who invest in this type of enablement and show commitment to assisting their partners in transforming their sales models for cloud.  Conversely, as the VARs and agents make their decisions on who to partner with, the providers commitment to this cloud enablement should be a key factor in that decision.

Barry Adams is manager of partner operations for

‘s Cloud and Service Provider Partner Organization.  He leads a team of partner account managers responsible for the acceleration of cloud sales for Cisco Certified Cloud Providers. Adams been in the Service Provider Partner Organization in various roles for the last six years. He previously spent 10 years in various roles in the IT industry including Nortel, AT&T and his own company, which focused on managed service solutions for SMBs. Adams is a member of the

2013-14 Channel Partners Advisory Board

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