Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the largest "untapped opportunity" for channel partners, delegates of the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Phoenix heard this week.
During a keynote, Renee Bergeron, SVP of global cloud at Ingram Micro, told attendees that the channel has a way to go when it comes to capturing the IaaS opportunity.
"Today the channel is not winning when it comes to IaaS. I believe that IaaS is the biggest untapped opportunity for channel partners," she said.
The executive's statement is based on IDC data that finds that more than 55 per cent of today's overall cloud revenue goes through the channel, but when it comes to IaaS specifically, that number drops to less than 20 per cent. Bergeron also noted that with IaaS representing 34 per cent of the overall cloud market, this is a "sizable" market for the channel to miss out on.
To capture this opportunity, however, solution providers must do more than provide customers with back office technology, Bergeron said.
"Your role is to help them do more with more. Your role is to help them leverage technology so their customers can become disruptors in their own industries. Your role is to change their customers' experience, and that's how you make yourself an indispensable partner - by reinventing customer experience in a connected economy," she explained.
She added that the IaaS market is overcoming concerns about security, noting that Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle, has stated that it takes 12 to 14 months to deploy a new security patch on all Oracle databases.
"Guess how long it takes to roll out that same security patch to an IaaS environment. It's pretty much instantaneous," Bergeron said.
Bergeron's comments were made in relation to the release of IaaS deployment and management tool Ingram Micro Cloud Orchestrator, which Bergeron said addresses the CIO fear of "vendor lock-in" and allows services providers to automate and orchestrate workload deployment and management in any private, public or hybrid cloud from a unified portal.
During the event, the distributor also announced the next generation of its cloud services automation solution Odin Automation Essentials, which aims to enable channel partners to sell more cloud services with other Microsoft cloud solution provider services, and a new version of its flagship Odin Automation Premium that includes a new a new Internet of Things and new digital services management module, as well as a new business intelligence module.
Speaking of business intelligence, according to Bergeron, while the era of the machines may potentially be on its way, currently it's all about customer experience.
"A lot of you might think that machine or artificial intelligence [is] actually going to replace the human workforce… Maybe one day, but for now the companies leveraging machine and artificial intelligence are doing so in order to improve the customer experience," Bergeron said during the event.
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