15 Feb 2011
In cutting out the middleman, the internet has delivered huge benefits to consumers and the enterprise. This new direct business model, though, is wreaking havoc on a channel that is the intermediary, and would rather not be cut out of the equation.
Corporations such as Microsoft and Google, with huge marketing budgets, are entering the market and educating customers on this new era of direct supply of cloud services. In many cases they have no tiered reseller model.
Agile channel players are embracing this as an opportunity by upping their professional services and helping customers migrate to the latest and greatest cloud thing. But turnover from hardware sales and software licensing is gone and the raw commission from cloud service sales isn't great.
So are there any areas where the cloud doesn't fit? Well, yes: data sovereignty.
It is largely the case that the big two email providers - Google and Microsoft - cannot guarantee where customer data will live, either at a country level or an EU data jurisdiction level. For most this is not a significant factor (yet) but, understandably, is of huge importance for the enterprise and, of course, government, defence, and security companies.
This is where a reseller-centric product can work and a direct cloud product cannot. For these customers, the sovereignty of data is of far more importance than finding the lowest-priced cloud service.
Mark Herbert (pictured) is business development director at intY
Read his thought all week at Views from the Channel