How Is “Cloud” Changing The Game In My Channel?

Channel Chiefs today are required to have and build knowledge in cloud more than ever before. Both 2016-2017 are expected to be significant years of widespread maturity in public, private and hybrid cloud deployments across all markets: small business, mid-tier market, large enterprise organizations and governments according to CompTIA’s 2016 Cloud research.

It’s also a big year for the channel in cloud; traditional business models are evolving in the channel. There are new types of channel partner companies emerging and most solution providers are investigating and/or deploying new types of cloud services in 2016.

What can you do as a channel chief to evolve and scale your cloud business?

  1. Ensure you, as a leader, are up to date on the cloud market, landscape, the industry definitions and acronyms, and your company’s cloud opportunity In addition, it’s important that you have a plan to develop your people in the cloud market. Having the right cloud expertise across sales, strategy, channel marketing, and programs will be very important in the coming years. It may also mean deliberately searching for and hiring cloud talent and expertise onto your team. This could require new avenues for recruitment, amended hiring profiles, and often new or expanded roles in the organization. According to several cloud studies, finding and maintaining cloud talent is a top issue for end user customers and channel partners. So it’s important that channel chiefs have a proactive plan in cloud hiring and cloud employee development practices.

  2. Build a cloud channel strategy and plan for your company that includes key answers the following questions:

    • What cloud solutions will or should our company take to market through partners?
    • What types of partners that I have now will go with us on the cloud journey?
    • What types of born in the cloud or other partner types do I need?
    • What types of business models must I deploy and what is my ramp timeline to revenue and at what costs?
    • How will my other offers need to change? Partner communications, demand generation, automation, and partner programs?
    • How should I build or migrate my partner program for cloud to accommodate the new business models? I may choose to deploy a new cloud track with annuity type incentives, or modify my existing program with additional requirements/incentives for selling and deploying cloud solutions.
  3. Think about including a separate partner program track, different types of incentives within your existing partner program, or a whole new cloud program Regardless of the path you choose, incenting long term annuity revenue partner models, rewarding cloud customer renewals and customer loyalty: and partners’ success expanding cloud solutions within established customers are keys to success.

This post by Theresa Caragol, Founder, TCC Consulting, was recently published in our new eBook,The Top 10 Things Making Channel Chiefs into Insomniacs, and What to do About It. In creating this guide for Channel Chiefs, we tapped our network of top channel strategists to provide thoughtful, meaty, practical advice on Chiefs' key questions about the market today. Click here to down full eBook for recommendations that will help you transform your channel operations, accelerate your indirect sales — and sleep peacefully.

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