With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting technological transformation across the world, cloud computing has evolved rapidly. This has impacted cloud channel sales models — and the broader economy.
Liezl van Staden, solutions sales manager at Strategix, argues in this VMware channel discussion (watch the video below) that the flexibility provided through the delivery of on-premises cloud services to customers is still a relatively untapped area that can the economy. This can be done through the familiar technologies delivered by vendors like VMware, with its cloud offerings, and the creation of a partnership ecosystem with local businesses like Strategix and CoCre8, which can offer customers easy access to cloud services.
The rise of the cloud channel
As the cloud landscape evolves, so do the needs of end customers. In this video discussion, the interviewees explore the importance of extending the cloud partner ecosystem and the need for channel partners to adapt their services continuously to fit a customer’s needs.
Lee Syse, cloud technology lead for sub-Saharan Africa at VMware, says the company has always been channel-led and the shift to cloud computing doesn’t change this.
While VMware is good at developing software to enable businesses’ rapid expansion into the cloud, it’s its partners, including CoCre8 and Strategix, that help take this “software” and build a cloud platform that delivers local services to clients — in short, establishing and expanding the concept of a cloud representative channel.
According to Van Staden, a channel model gives small and medium-sized enterprises and other organisations that don’t have big financial backing a means to enter the market and deliver the digital transformation and cloud services required by modern businesses.
Watch the discussion:
Conversely, Syse says that a localised cloud gives a customer the benefit of choice as well as access to local data centres, help and support, billing, and improved latency.
Abdul Moosa, chief technology officer for South Africa at CoCre8, says the IT channel helps with providing solutions that will transform markets through the provision of a combination of the best skills, products and technology. It’s a fine balance, but the channel offers all entry points needed to deliver a robust end-to-end cloud solution.
A key benefit for customers leveraging a channel partner for a local cloud service is that they can tap into extensive expert knowledge and the technical experience of a business used to giving customers the correct advice on how to build solutions that meet their needs.
CoCre8 has successfully worked to bridge the gap between what business interprets as the value from technology versus what technologists interpret as the value from technology, to provide turnkey offerings to its customers. Moosa says a consumption model, such as the one offered through its Red Sky offering, provides a cloud-in-a-box solution that can be deployed in any permutation.
Syse says VMware looks after its partners though a “rental programme”. In this programme, VMware provides partners with licences on a rental consumption basis that they then offer their customers. In this case, Red Sky is the solution that offers value through the toolsets, productisation and commercial models delivered to the customer.
Ultimately, when a client purchases a cloud solution, they need a partner that can offer them technology to support their goals, at a price that supports their pocket. The consumptive nature of the cloud is what attracts customers to it, but it’s the technology holding it together that makes it a success. When partnering with a VMware cloud partner, clients don’t only have access to a proven technology that only costs them what they consume, but a partner with the technical know-how and local skills needed to turn their cloud into the business game changer they desire.
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