CIF: Channel needs more vendor support in selling cloud

Channel ResearchCloud
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Migration, contracts, SLAs and technical support are still big issues for many resellers

Vendors must do more to help the UK IT channel overcome the barriers to selling cloud-based services if resellers are to fully capitalise, shows Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) research.

The research, commissioned by CIF and cloud apps provider Intermedia, polled 150 senior decision-makers from IT channel organisations – including MSPs, VARs and systems integrators – regarding their attitudes and confidence in reselling cloud services.

Cloud 2Despite 99 percent of respondents recognising the potential benefits of cloud, only 65 percent are offering cloud-based services today.

The research identified three common cloud blocks:

82 percent view cultural changes within the organisation to be a challenge
81 percent have experienced staff skills shortages
80 percent have come up against difficulties surrounding their cloud marketing and positioning

Alex Hilton, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum, said: “The channel is clearly struggling when it comes to cloud deployments and is missing out on major opportunities as a result. We have seen end-user adoption of cloud-based services rocket in recent years, with 78 percent of end user organisations using at least one cloud-based service today.

“But the channel hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Resellers that do sell cloud services are reporting a wide range of benefits, from improved competitive edge to extended revenues and market reach. This puts channel resellers that haven’t yet made the move at a distinct disadvantage.”

The research indicates that vendor support must increase for the channel to overcome cloud business model challenges.

Over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents felt that vendors were not doing enough to help them transition to the cloud model, and 47 percent would like more guidance on contracts/SLAs. In addition, 44 percent need additional technical support.

CIF recently launched video-based cloud sales training courses for the channel.

@AntonySavvas