Cool Solutions

Guest Post: Solution Providers Shouldn’t Move to the Cloud


July 12, 2010 11:04 am





By Rich Wiltbank

Yes, you read that right – I think that Solution Providers today should NOT move to the Cloud. Moving to something connotes leaving something behind, going from one thing to another. I think this is exactly the wrong strategy to build a profitable, growing Solution Provider business.

To explain myself, let’s look at your customers: they are not MOVING to the Cloud, discarding their physical and virtual infrastructure that they have built up over many years. Instead, they are trying to pragmatically INTEGRATE Cloud-delivered resources and applications into their existing IT infrastructure. As you can see from the chart below (created by Novell using data from IDC and Gartner), cloud, virtual and physical infrastructure will all still be relevant in the coming years.

So, why should your Solution Provider business be any different? You should not be looking at replacing your existing practices around physical and virtual infrastructure. Instead, you should be integrating Cloud offerings into what you are already doing. And, you should be cashing in on the profitable business of helping your customers understand HOW they make all of their disparate IT pieces work together as one.

Your value lies in your ability to be close enough to your customers so you can see their pain, make knowledgeable recommendations on how to best use the range of available technologies (including Cloud Computing) to solve their pain, and form relationships with vendors that have tools or solutions that let you implement those recommendations profitably. This creates success that will really MOVE your business forward!

What issues have you experienced as you try to integrate cloud delivery models with existing infrastructure models?

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Categories: Expert Views, PR Blog


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1 Comment

  1. Having worked in the reseller channel for 25 years, I can tell you straight up that cloud computing is the most significant trend in the delivery of IT services that I’ve seen since I started reselling NetWare in 1985 for use on new fangled technology called Local Area Networks. Solution providers will need to come to grips with cloud computing very soon or they will become obsolete like the mini-computer companies (DEC, Wang, Data General, Prime) did in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Cloud computing is BIG and it is reshaping the IT landscape of the early 21st century. If a Solution provider doesn’t plan on retiring in 5 years, then it is time to re-tool their practice around cloud computing. Hey, if Mr. Ballmer of Microsoft says his company is “all in” when it comes to cloud computing, I’m not so sure I’d bet against him.

    SMBs and startups are the first movers to cloud computing. The “enterprise” customer is stuck with significant capital investments in legacy data centers. Novell would like to have a business helping these customers re-tool their virtualized data centers into self-provisioning, private clouds. I think Novell can enjoy some short term success there, but over the next 10 years public clouds will dominate because they have the technology edge and they deliver the most cost-efficient IT services. I hope Novell figures out how Novell Cloud Manager can be used in public clouds to give RightScale a little competition. Right now, it looks like its initial deployment will be in private clouds when it is released in Q4 2010.


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