Managed and Cloud Services : Toe-in-The Water or Taking the Plunge?

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Diane-Krakora-headshotby Diane Krakora, CEO

In our last webinar, we invited Mont Phelps, CEO of NWN Corporation and Simon Palmer, CEO of STA to share their perspective on our 6th Annual State of Partnering Study findings. Teaming up with MarketStar and PureChannels, this study queried 98 vendors and 250 solution providers on their investments, priorities and challenges for 2012.

Both NWN Corporation and STA are focused on selling services — both managed services and professional services in 2012. In terms of the cloud, our State of Partnering Study showed that vendors are moving from expecting partners to only act as sales agents to performing multiple selling and service roles around their cloud services. STA claims it is a neophyte in this area.

“Cloud and managed services are a significant and strategic goal for us in 2012,” said Palmer. “We have more of a toe-in-the-water approach to our cloud practice this year. We are helping our customers understand how they can develop a roadmap to get to the cloud. They have to evolve their current infrastructure to get to the cloud to provide the cloud delivery framework to their customer. We see the mid-market is intrigued with the cloud delivery framework as a way to deliver apps to their end-user customers environments. I can see us used more as an aggregator to sell a variety of cloud solutions in the future.”

“We are flailing around in the deep end. We have taken the plunge,” said Phelps. “We have set up a Cisco-Hosted Voice Collaboration solution. We have customers up and running, and we are seeing a tremendous pipeline and opportunity there. We also have a robust managed services business. We see relatively less value in repackaging and reselling someone else’s solutions. In terms of how we deliver these services, we have a high-level of competence and capabilities internally. A dedicated team of resources –we expect our sales force to find the opportunities and we have a deep set of resources to actually sell it.”

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