Now is the perfect time to sit with your core team to assess your cloud expectations and aspirations for 2018.

January 3, 2018

3 Min Read
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As we all stride into the New Year with new goals, and business aspirations, many end customers will be doing the same. Business from small to large will invest further in the cloud, and those who’ve yet to make the move to cloud will likely look to make a change in 2018. Now’s the time to fine tune your cloud strategy and win more business.

In 2018 analysts see the cloud as a key driver for business transformation. Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation. “Cloud is truly business critical and is now a mainstream enterprise core technology,” writes Dave Bartolleti, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. See blog post here.

Further, IDC sees boom times for anything that resembles a cloud. The research firm predicts that by 2021, cloud services and cloud-enabling hardware, software and services spend will double to more than $530 billion.

Cloud Adoption Strategies

In a recent article in Channelnomics, some vendors and solution providers agree that channel partners are making investments in their practices to deliver a variety of cloud services in order to reap the rush of customers looking for a cloud solution. The article also pointed to the adoption of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies as a way for channel partners to still get a piece of the cloud pie.

Regardless of what type of services or solutions your company delivers, or what your position is in your cloud journey, this month is the perfect time to sit with your core team to assess your cloud expectations and aspirations for 2018, and to put together an effective strategy.

If you are already selling cloud and delivering vendor solutions, take a good look at how you can package a solution or use your IP to add value to your vendor’s solution by extending the functionality or adding features for a specific vertical or line of business. Most cloud vendors need partners to deliver this type of expertise, and this is where channel partners can shine.

If you are not selling cloud and are still only comfortable in selling on-premise vendor solutions, the clock is ticking against you. The longer you wait, the faster your company may lose out on future opportunities.

I am acutely aware of the financial pressures of shifting your current business model, or creating a separate cloud practice. However, if you want to stay relevant and meaningful to prospects. cloud is no longer a choice.

Vendors are actively seeking out cloud partners, but I cannot say the same about on-premise partners. Furthermore, if you’re organization is considering an exit strategy down the road, a lack of cloud expertise can adversely affect your company’s valuation when selling or merging with another company.

SAP Helps Partners “Dip their Toes” into Cloud

At SAP, we are working to educate, guide and help our partners move to the cloud, even if they are still selling on-premise solutions where it make sense for them and their customers.

We have helped partners move to selling cloud with a go-to-market initiative called SAP PartnerEdge Cloud Choice, profit option. It allows a partner to sell a cloud solution where the partner manages sales, post-sales and implementation services, while SAP manages the contracting, accounting and billing. Primarily, this initiative helps partners who do not have the backend operations of a cloud business in place, allowing them to get into cloud business without the financial pressures.

The new year calls for channel partners to take a good look at their future in the cloud and to work with their vendor(s) to figure the best way meet their cloud aspirations. Remember: Stay nimble, because at this time next year you may need to evolve your cloud strategy again.

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Ira Simon (follow me on Twitter – @IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing, at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://go.sap.com/partner.html.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship. 

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