The year distribution grapsed the cloud challenge


The year distribution grapsed the cloud challenge

Simon Quicke
When the downturn first really kicked in back in September 2008 we all looked to the economists and analysts to tell us when it would get better. They sketched out the future with 2011 as a year of small growth before things started to kick back in from 2012.

As we have gone through this year it has become clear that those predictions back then were maybe slightly off for the economy as a whole but perhaps closer to the mark in the technology sector.

In the channel business has remained challenging but also rewarding. Over the past few years we have all become used to low margins and hard graft for business and that experience has stood many resellers in good stead throughout this year.

Talk to those in the channel and they are not gloom and doom. Things continue to develop and plans continue to evolve.

If you had to look for an overall theme there would be plenty of contenders. It's been another busy year of consolidation at all levels of the channel. The big vendors have demonstrated yet again they have the ability to hoover up the headlines. But for me it is technology itself that had an impact this year with the cloud starting to not only filter through to more customers but also through the channel.

Ingram Micro was the muscle behind the Channel Transformation Alliance, a group providing practical help to resellers moving to the hosted world. Computer 2000 introduced TD Cloud to the UK after bedding it in over in the US and recently Magirus formulated a partnership with Colt to give its resellers a cloud infrastructure as a service offering. ComputerLinks also continued to evolve its Alvea platform to deliver a wider choice of cloud options to its customers.

Those changes in distribution have perhaps been one of the most welcome signs of channel evolution. Those people who dismissed the role of a two-tier channel in a cloud era have been forced to think again.

Distribution has showed that it is prepared to put itself at the heart of the channel delivery of cloud services and applications.

With distribution making those moves towards the cloud it becomes easier for resellers to get involved and for the future direction of the channel to become more secure. Of course the cloud world is developing and plans need to be tinkered with to take advantage of that. But the fact that distribution is already where it is now is a great place to make those changes.

This year might go down in history as the moment the Euro started to crack up, for the terrible natural disasters in Japan and Thailand or for the summer riots. But for the channel it should be remembered as the time when it got behind the cloud, demonstrated its ability to evolve and set its course for a more secure future.

MicroScope would like to wish all of its readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2012 be a prosperous one for us all. We will be back delivering channel news in January.

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