Partners: Vendor support for cloud channels could be better

A recent study by Cloud Industry Forum and Intermedia reveals vendors are not doing enough to help channels overcome the hindrances of selling cloud-based solutions. Here is what the Indian cloud channel partners have to say about it. 

Contrary to an international study which reveals that vendors must help channel to overcome hindrance in selling cloud solutions, Indian cloud channel partners gave a mixed feedback on their OEM partners.

A recent study released by Cloud Industry Forum and Intermedia, which polled 150 top decision makers from MSPs, VARs and System Integrators, shows 99 percent of the respondents realize the potential benefit of cloud, but only 65 percent are offering cloud services.

The study goes on to reveal that 26 percent of the respondents felt that vendors are not doing enough to help them transition to the cloud model, 47 percent would like more guidance on contracts/SLAs, and 44 percent needed additional technical support.

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However, their Indian counterparts wouldn’t fully agree to this revelation. According to Sudhir Kothari, MD and CEO of Embee Software, vendors coupled with the self-drive factor have been integral in making the cloud transition as well as growth of Embee Software. “Vendors have helped us to some extent in this crossover. However, we always believe that the initiative has to be one’s own,”  he says. But, he agrees to the fact that OEM partner could help to some extent in offering trainings. “I feel the business owners hold 80 percent of the responsibility and the remaining 20 percent is that of the OEM partner. The change itself is so ferocious that the OEM partners are still adjusting to the market,” he adds.

Voicing a similar opinion, Kavita Singhal, director at Kamtron Systems, says that vendors have been helpful in cloud adoption but they have to be hands on due to the fast changing technology. "Vendors are definitely helping partners  through trainings and their support centers. But technology changes constantly, therefore, a lot more has to be done continuously,” she says.  “Yes, the vendors are able to support the partners and hence we are acquiring and supporting more customers in the cloud adoption. Regular workshops for partners on the new technologies, new features and strong support centers are required to some extent,” she says, when asked about few expectation of channels from vendors.

In Umbrella Infocare’s case, Sanjay Agarwal, founder and director, strongly agrees that vendor has been extremely supportive. Talking about the support that the company has received he said, “AWS has supported us at every stage. They are always open to suggestions and adopt best practices to increase market reach, partner enablement, sales kits and are also open to customer feedbacks.”

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When asked about the vendor pricing being competent enough, Agarwal says that due to the transparency in pricing, partners are able to reduce the sales cycle. "Unlike box selling, cloud pricing is very transparent and almost fixed, which helps partners and reduces sales cycle. In case of IAAS, vendor pricing is very straight. For a partner, there has to be a combination of services and cloud reselling to make it a success.”

Singhal adds that it is a mix of yes and no. “Pricing depends on the technology and the product. We stress more on services and lot of hand holding with customers to create deeper association with customers,“ she says.