Symantec Partner Engage 2010: Cloud Reality Check
During a Symantec Partner Engage breakout session, plenty of channel partners were talking about cloud computing. That’s hardly surprising. But instead of hyping the cloud, the partners were discussing gradual transitions driven by specific business needs. Here’s a recap of the Symantec partner chatter.
Victor Villegas, VP of business development at CMT, a $15 million Symantec national platinum partner, is planning carefully for the cloud. CMT has focused on Enterprise Vault, Data Loss Prevention, backup and “some Altiris” with the large enterprise space as their targets.
And so, what about the cloud? Villegas said: “We haven’t sold a “SKUed” cloud offering yet. Customers are asking about it [and it’s] piquing interest. But we haven’t pulled the trigger on that solution.”
For the last nine months more and more interest has come from customers asking if there is a cloud/SaaS hosted solution, and if CMT could help them to find and embrace one. Villegas says right now CMT is educating itself. Instead of racing to a hosted offering, CMT believes the company has to have the right structure in place first.
Conversely, Joshua Liberman, president of Net Sciences, Inc., said cloud is something they’d love to do — if the infrastructure supported it. Located in New Mexico, Liberman said there’s a real hang up on getting upload and download speeds that can successfully support typical cloud applications. Instead, Net Sciences continues to focus on its core business, which is small business network and system integration.
Liberman brings up an interesting problem that is often overlooked in the cloud: lack of adequate bandwidth.
More conservatively, Sarah Merrion, managing partner over at Conventus Solutions Enablement and Integration, said that cloud is still something slow to adopt, as she felt many companies were anti-cloud until recently. She expressed a more minimalist (but positive) support for the cloud, stressing that businesses want to focus on keeping things on premise.
But the cloud delivery model is now being more accepted because it allows businesses “to focus on what they do best” and outsource the rest of IT. That’s a trend she felt was certainly emerging, and that Conventus will be working with partners to find out what exactly they really want to put in the cloud, and what SaaS is right for them.
For its part, Symantec estimates that its SaaS and cloud revenues will grow to roughly 15 percent of the company’s total revenues within about five years.