Big data, cloud computing and BYOD may be feted for growth by the analysts, but resellers are yet to be convinced that is where the big bucks lie for their businesses, according to Context.
None of these industry buzz phrases ranked in the top five for resellers when asked by the researcher to rank the opportunity various categories represent for their business on a scale of one to five.
Context asked that question as part of its ChannelWatch survey, which quizzed 1,725 resellers across core western European economies.
Services topped the list with a score of four, followed by mobility and networking on 3.6, virtualisation on 3.4 and disaster recovery on 3.3.
Cloud, in contrast, scored a relatively lukewarm 3.2. Meanwhile, BYOD – a market TechMarketView predicts will mushroom from £176m to £675m in the UK alone between 2012 and 2016 – and big data – which is set to swell at seven times the rate of the overall ICT market over the coming years, according to IDC – both languished even further back on 2.7.
"Some of these buzzwords aren't sitting at the top of the list in terms of what resellers think is the biggest opportunity," said Context co-founder Howard Davies, who unveiled the results of ChannelWatch at the DISTREE event in Monte Carlo.
"That is not to say that it is not the biggest opportunity; it just means they don't perceive it that way today."
Davies suggested a skills deficit in the channel could be to blame, backed up by the finding that training topped the list of what resellers want from their distribution partners, ahead of lead generation and marketing.
"When you bring the two together you realise that cloud computing may indeed be an area of opportunity but the question [resellers are asking is], on a Monday morning, what exactly does that mean for me," Davies asked. "What can I actually sell, what skills do I have to have acquired and what products do I have to bring before my customer if I want to bring cloud computing to the marketplace at the moment?
"I think a lot of resellers can't see it and there is an enormous job on the vendor side to be done, which is to get the practicalities of these new areas understood by the channel."
Andy Dow, marketing director at distributor Computer 2000 (pictured), argued that resellers need not be spooked by BYOD and cloud.
"People say the market is complicated and scary right now – actually it's not," he said.
"If you want to be scared, you should have been a reseller or distributor in the 1990s when everything was plug-and-play and there was no value or services to be added. That was tough. Today, the opportunity to put great services together for our customers and earn you fair whack doing so is enormous. We are actually in the best time we have had for a long, long time."
CEO claims the firm is set to make 'bold acquisitions in the very near feature'
Global spend on datacentre tech will slow to 1.6 per cent in 2019
Traditional outsourcing increases 40 per cent year on year in Q3
MSP execs hoping to make splash in cybersecurity training pond with new business