Making the Transition to the Cloud in the Channel
There’s no doubt at this point that many solution providers have been struggling with making the transition to the cloud. Not only does moving to the cloud entail embracing new business models; the rate at which their customers are actually moving to the cloud varies greatly.
To help smooth that transition ComputeNext, a provider of a global cloud marketplace, has created a CloudED Education and Training Program in partnership with CompTIA. CloudED provides solution providers with access to certification training programs and self-help resources at both a beginner and advanced level, as well as a vehicle through which they can gain certifications for providing data recovery, business continuity, IT security, and unified communications via the cloud.
In general, Dan Moore, director of channel development at ComputeNext, said as a cloud marketplace ComputeNext is focused on making it simpler for solution providers to work across multiple infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments delivered via the cloud. The challenge facing solution providers today, said Moore, is that they don’t have access to a single portal through which they can manage all those service. ComputeNext not only enables them to set up those portals they can also make use of ComputeNext to create storefronts through which their customers can provision those cloud services.
The difference between ComputeNext and many other cloud marketplaces, said Moore, is that ComputeNext manages the actual transaction versus simply providing an online catalog. In that latter model, the solution provider still has to create all the contracts with the cloud service providers versus relying on ComputeNext to serve as a broker.
Obviously, some solution providers might be able to setup their own storefronts, but as a general rule Moore noted that most solution providers don’t have much in the way of programming skills and know even less about how to invoke the application programming interfaces (APIs) that cloud service providers expose. ComputeNext, in essence, masks all that complexity from the solution provider, said Moore.
Of course, the biggest challenge facing solution providers as they move to the cloud may very well be how their internal resources are allocated. IT solutions on premise generally require a lot of engineering expertise when compared to cloud services that are typically more automated. As solution providers make the shift to the cloud, many of them are starting to realize they need more business consulting expertise to explain to customers what they can do with the cloud versus actual engineering talent to implement it.