Cloud Computing – harnessing channel opportunities requires strong vendor support

Sven Rathjen, VP Sales EMEA at WD. (Image source: WD)

Local interest in Cloud Computing is steadily growing and we are beginning to see an uptake in this platform. This is extremely positive for resellers as the Cloud presents prospects for growth and increased market share. However, this requires strong partnerships with vendors, as well as commitment from vendors themselves to work hand-in-hand with their channel to ensure growth.

Sven Rathjen, VP Sales EMEA at WD. (Image source: WD)
Sven Rathjen, VP Sales EMEA at WD. (Image source: WD)

With the evolution of technology and the increased quality and availability of bandwidth, the Cloud has become inevitable. The opportunity lies in helping customers migrate, install, maintain and service their Cloud solutions. The vast majority of end users simply do not have the skills or the time and inclination to do this on their own.

Data centres are also growing in South Africa as companies start looking towards the variety of Cloud offerings available. This leads to a growing necessity for appropriate storage media in these environments. In fact, according to WD analysis and research, the number of Exabytes shipped within the Cloud and enterprise will increase from less than 1000 in 2013 to more than 5000 by 2020, and by 2020 more than 75% of Exabytes will be stored on hard disk drives. This creates an opportunity for resellers to offer appropriate hard drive technology.

The Cloud is not one solution, but many, including hosted applications, backup and Disaster Recovery, to name a few. Resellers need to be able to deliver the appropriate offering for these different purposes or applications.

However, while there are many opportunities, in order for resellers to be able to manage and service Cloud environments, and understand the appropriate hard drive technology, they need to have an in-depth knowledge of both the environment and the products required.

Ultimately taking advantage of the Cloud requires vendors that are committed, consistent, loyal and stable towards their channel partners. Vendors need to see the value in long-term branding and mutually beneficial partnerships, which builds trust, understanding and loyalty to the brand form all sides. Only in this way will the Cloud not erode the channel, but help to build it and grow profitable market share.

Sven Rathjen, VP Sales EMEA at WD