By Gennifer Biggs, Business Solutions magazine.
It is a question heard at most recent industry events and partner summits: How do I, as a VAR or managed services provider (MSP), participate in cloud services? The concern of solutions providers is that, with cloud solutions rolling out to resolve IT concerns ranging from email security to disaster recovery, there is little left for them to offer. “We hear from our partners that they are afraid of getting left out when it comes to cloud solutions,” says Lee Garrison, CMO at KineticD, formerly Data Deposit Box, a hosted backup and disaster recovery solutions vendor. “Quite the contrary, we feel there is a big opportunity for resellers, particularly with SMB customers, who are rapidly adopting the cloud.” Why? Garrison explains that not only are the value propositions of cloud — enterprise-class solutions at affordable subscription pricing that eliminates the need for upgraded hardware, new software licensing, and in-house IT support — particularly appealing to SMB customers, those companies are also a perfect fit for MSPs and VARs because they usually have no IT staff. “Plus, the same advantages of cloud that SMBs enjoy also apply to the resellers,” explains Garrison. “VARs can offer an enterprise-class cloud service without upfront investment in equipment or technicians, and that means they can quickly participate in the recurring revenue model and get their margin, yet the provider does all the work.”