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Commercial Channel Models Are Changing

November 15, 2012

Winds of change are blowing into the channel, creating a paradigm shift from on-premise hardware and software to a cloud computing model. This point has been made many times over the last several years, but it's one that cannot be understated, as no other change in the IT channel's history will prove as disruptive.

More and more companies today are moving their mission-critical business applications to the cloud, and they want assurance from an industry expert that their cloud service provider is reputable, reliable and a proven industry leader.

Being a part of this channel provides a great opportunity to become this industry expert. As the opportunity grows, more non-traditional providers will enter the channel - like VARs.

For them, the core component of this "new model" will be to evolve from being a "reseller" of on-premise solutions they created to a "broker or agent" by selling cloud solutions built by service providers like you. The future is upon us and this model will ultimately open the door to thousands of new channel partners.

In the short run, we believe it makes strategic business sense for telecom partners to structure relationships with these VARs to exchange leads, and perhaps even consider M&A activities to accelerate the evolution to this new model.

With the unprecedented change that our industry is experiencing, now is the perfect segue into this new and exciting business paradigm. Reselling has been a great commercial model for years, and it will continue to be part of the way business is conducted in the cloud era.

Craig Schlagbaum is the vice president of indirect channel sales at Comcast.

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