Distributors have a more important role than ever to play as cloud adoption accelerates, according to new Nuvias cloud boss Karl Roe.
Roe was recently appointed vice president of services and cloud solutions at Nuvias Group – the holding company for Wick Hill and Zycko – and told CRN that it would be foolish to write off the role that distribution needs to play in the cloud, despite some in the industry questioning how distributors will remain relevant.
"Distribution is not a dirty word," he said. "Cloud services will de direct, there's no two ways about it, but there are elements that still require distribution, even more so than traditional products.
"Things that are forgotten about such as local language support, local currency – really basic stuff, I admit – but things that are quite difficult to deliver across an EMEA footprint if you're a SaaS vendor.
"Even the big guys like Microsoft and Oracle have debated whether distribution was right or wrong for them and I think everybody has come back around to the same view of deciding that distribution is still relevant in this marketplace and potentially more relevant."
Roe recently returned to the UK from a spell in the Middle East and Australia where he played a key role in building cloud practices for Microsoft and Oracle.
He explained that while most cloud talk focuses on services, physical distribution is equally important as more devices connect to the cloud.
"We can't disappear from these big warehouses overnight because ultimately what's in our distribution centres is just different. It's not servers anymore; it's appliances, network devices and telephony devices. We're not moving away from the logistics, we're actually doing more of it."
Roe said that although some roles played by distribution inevitably have to change when it comes to cloud, distributors will retain their important role of introducing new technology to the channel.
"Where cloud has failed, and some cloud services have failed, it's because the channel hasn't been particularly well supported in the transition," he said.
"If you're an MSP you get caught in the today, just like you used to as an outsourcer, so you get caught up in the responsibilities of delivering technology of today.
"Our responsibility as a distributor in this space is to bring in new technology so we're consistently looking for technology that enhances our value proposition so we can bring that into those MSPs. That's really why [distribution] exists because those start-up business in Silicon Valley or Israel, for example, need a method of getting to those partners that is cost effective and adds value."
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