One of the biggest perceived benefits of cloud software and services is also one of its biggest potential pitfalls – the ease with which they can be provisioned or turned on.
Because of this, many projects are happening without the knowledge of IT management because it’s simple for a line-of-business manager to sign up without having to hit the IT budget. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it illustrates technology’s importance as a corporate resource, but it can present unexpected challenges for technology solution providers charged with keeping their customers’ overall IT infrastructures secure and backed up.
On our sister site SearchStorageChannel.com, we’ve published the first of five slide show reports on storage administrators’ plans for their budget, from an extensive survey that was fielded in the fall. The survey posed storage-related questions to 700 respondents with storage purchasing authority, to gauge their plans around disk, tape, storage for virtual servers, networking, backup, the cloud and more. This first report focuses on how respondents’ budgets compare with those of prior years, how big they are, how they’re allocated, how much disk capacity they plan to buy, and which technologies they’re most likely to implement.
Check out the slide show and check back on the site for more to come.
On SearchITChannel.com, we’re launching a new section called “Channel Intelligence” that will feature opinions and commentary from you, our audience of VARs, MSPs and systems integrators, addressing issues related to doing business in the IT channel.
Channel Intelligence will reside on the SearchITChannel.com home page; postings will be sent by newsletter to registered members of SearchITChannel.com. The primary audience will be your peers, but the content will be searchable on the Web, able to be read by a wide variety of people, whether vendors, potential customers or your peers.
What’s in it for you? Continued »
If you haven’t started offering cloud solutions to your small-business customers yet, a new startup is vying for your attention.
The portal is being billed as an “all-in-one” cloud platform that VARs and MSPs can use to provision virtual desktops to small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
Reading up on some cloud channel adoption trends, based on a report published in late 2012 by consulting firm PartnerPath.
Since the cloud continues to arise perennially as one of the biggest business development challenges for technology solution providers, I wasn’t really surprised to read that more than half of the ones who responded to a recent PartnerPath survey still derive less than 10 percent of their revenue from cloud services.
Only 20 percent (or so) of the respondents indicated that they generate more than 20 percent of their revenue from cloud services.
High-tech journalist types are known for spouting off predictions and prognostications at the end or beginning of each year. Since I still do this routinely for SearchITChannel, I figured it would be appropriate for me to revisit what I reported 12 months ago in our story, “Four trends that will shape IT services in 2012.”
For a quick recap, here are the four themes that emerged:
- Bring your own device movement (BYOD)
- Mobile app stores
- Data management 2.0
- The cloud
So how did we do? Continued »
In early November, I wrote about the need for technology solution providers to think more creatively about how to find the budgets for technology services or projects they are pitching. The point being that this money doesn’t always have to come out of a company’s IT budget.
But even though a VAR’s business-side connections will be much more important in the future for winning business within small and midsize businesses, there are still plenty of reasons to make nice with the IT departments within prospective or existing accounts. And to do so at least once per quarter (as you’ll read in a moment).
It seems to me that many small-business owners are perpetually pessimistic right now, so I tend not to report on many of the surveys sent my way about their spending and hiring plans.
Still, I think technology solution providers should peek at a new Gallup poll about small-business capital spending intentions for the next 12 months. If nothing else, the data is a great reminder of why the technology channel needs to continue investing in viable business models for managed services and cloud-delivered IT services.
Are there any fans of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition out there? If so, keep an eye out for Avnet employees on Monday night’s show. Eighteen members of the company’s IBM Solutions group spent two Saturdays in San Antonio, Texas, planting sod, moving rocks, cleaning up construction debris and directing traffic. Avnet also donated three MacBooks and other components of a home tech system.
Technology solution providers representing the Microsoft Office 365 cloud applications suite for small businesses should take note of a huge change in the competitive landscape.
This week, Microsoft rival Google stopped offering a free version of its Google Apps for small businesses, saying that new customers will need to opt for the Premium edition, which costs $50 per user per year. Features of that service include 24/7 phone support, a 25-gigabyte inbox and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.
The changes means Microsoft partners will be able to discuss the two services on a more level playing field.