Reselling the cloud

The potential for cloud services reselling is somewhat untapped in the region

Tags: ComguardGartner IncorporationSmartworld ( Digital Corporation
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Reselling the cloud Biswajeet Mahapatra, Research Director, Gartner.
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By  Piers Ford Published  July 22, 2013

Joseph cited email and CRM as examples, followed by file and content sharing applications. Business applications such as spread sheets, word processing and document sharing are also catching up, but other applications are still slow in the cloud sector – matching the relatively slow speed of private cloud adoption.

The Middle Eastern market can be divided into multiple segments, according to Biswajeet Mahapatra, research director at Gartner.

Large enterprises which have done virtualisation are looking at the possibility of shifting to the private cloud, for example. They are less keen on the public cloud due to the non-availability of required options and confusion on the legal front in relation to data privacy and security. Smaller players, on the other hand, are open to public cloud adoption with its cost-effectiveness and pay-as-you-go options.

Mahapatra said a systems integrator with an eye on the market will have to invest in key new technologies – Hyper V, Azure, AWS and cloud management platforms, as well as assessment techniques to gauge the readiness of applications and infrastructure for the cloud. It will also need to acquire the skills to use tools for porting and managing applications in the cloud.

“Systems integrators are now trying to accommodate their customers by providing services rather than solutions consisting of hardware and software,” said Anurag Verma, telecom operations and managed services lead at Dubai-based technology solutions provider Smartworld.

“These integrators are focusing on how to overcome the loopholes in order to provide continuous services to customers. Another challenge is the need to comply with standards, as customers have to deal with their Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) policies as well as rules and regulations. Integrators need to deploy robust infrastructure with the latest technologies in order to facilitate their customer, mainly focusing on automation –which consists of computing, data storage and virtualisation.”

At Gartner, Mahapatra said the main challenge for VARs is that they are not able to understand the market and don’t have the right solutions and ecosystem for
early adoption.

“There is a demand, and there are technologies and various options available to meet it,” he said. “There are also many things which a VAR can provide. But the problem is that they do not have enough market clarity to cater to the industry’s needs.”

Mahapatra said that VARs aspiring to succeed on the cloud services front must position themselves clearly. Do they simply want to be an applications aggregator? Do they want to have specialised applications hosted in a client’s data centre and be a services and solutions provider? Do they want to be a hosting provider through their own data centre, with additional services? Or do they want to be consultants?

“They can also build some point solutions and provide them on the cloud, but these have to be focused,” said Mahapatra. “So the main thing which they need to do is a self-assessment, see their strengths, check their largest customer base, have discussions with them on their pain points and then develop solutions for them.”

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