• September 13, 2011

Channel Partners to Drive Cloud Transformation

In the high-growth cloud services market, every advantage helps. Five key channel partner competencies help make them indispensible and highly profitable, according to a new report from AMI-Partners.

The report shows that channel partners with one or more of the five competencies are expected to capture the lion's share of this growth opportunity during the next two years. Those competencies, identified in the report "U.S. SMB Partner Competencies Assessment," include business analytics, unified communication and collaboration, business process management, mobility, and infrastructure alignment.

The report turns the spotlight on partners that have proactively invested in developing their skill sets, knowledge, and expertise around these five competencies. Among the 72,000 partners in the U.S. who focus on small to midsized businesses, only 20 percent are currently proficient in two or more of the high-value competencies. However, among those that are, the benefits are huge, according to Avinash Arun, director of SMB channels at AMI-Partners.

"High-value competency (HVC) partners drive three times the market opportunity compared to other SMB partners," Arun said, "and the margins they derive from these key solutions are about 25 percent higher than other partners."

A critical distinguishing factor of HVC partners is their commitment to the cloud. HVC partners are also three times as likely to already be experiencing success in the cloud from a business and financial perspective. "Their success in the cloud is critical to the sustainability and growth of the partner ecosystem," Arun says, "and to vendors who are betting heavily on this transformation."

HVC partners tend to work with SMBs in high-value industries, including financial services and healthcare. The breadth of product offerings, coupled with vertical specialization, allows these partners to cater to a more sophisticated SMB clientele, helping them drive operational efficiencies, enhance productivity, and reduce IT complexity.

Some of the key solutions offered by HVC partners include business intelligence, CRM, unified communications, virtualization, IaaS, and mobility applications.

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