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Guruprit Ahuja, Director Cloud, META at Ingram Micro, shares his thoughts on how to build a successful cloud business practice & the opportunity for cloud business in the META region.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
Opex shift – IT operations will be succeeded by AI driven automation resulting in significant Opex savings. Need for cloud services Demand for public cloud SIs and brokers will rise. Skillsets – Automation will drive the need for skills around business process redesign & industry expertise. Digital workers – Employees will access AI-infused software to prepare themselves to become “digital workers”. Rise of Automation – Enterprises will look to automate everyday repeatable tasks.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE UNDERSTAND OUR CHANNEL
ECOSYSTEM IS NOT AS MATURED AS IN SOME OF THE DEVELOPED
OPPORTUNITY WITH XAAS
SaaS – As enterprises look to go Opex, the biggest volume and run-rate opportunity lies with SaaS business. There are several vertical & horizontal solutions to capitalize on most of which complement the existing business practices.
IaaS & PaaS – For beginners, the ideal approach to IaaS business will be through key workload selling such as Backup, DR, Test & Dev, Capacity expansion along with associated implementation, migration & managed support services. The real opportunity with IaaS & PaaS along with highly profitable services will be with business transforming workloads such as Lift & Shift, DevOps, IoT, etc. These workloads compliment use cases which directly improves a company’s operational efficiency & productivity. At the same time, they change the way companies address and offer an experience to their customers. Managed Services – Customers are increasingly becoming self-aware and their need to automate & innovate, go-to-market faster than competition requires adoption of the modern-day XaaS solutions. As more customers look to deploy multicloud & complex hybrid-cloud environments, the need for managed services & cloud orchestration represents the biggest opportunity for the channel ecosystem.
HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CLOUD PRACTICE?
Create your differentiation Increased competition and commoditization of SaaS & IaaS solutions implies that the channel ecosystem needs to create a differentiation to beat competition. Reselling a few software licenses is no longer a sustainable business practice.
Attach, Upsell, Cross-sell – If you have a set of customers you have sold an email service to, you can attach, upsell & cross-sell several solutions which complement the email service. Broadly, these solutions fall in the categories of migration, backup, mobile device management, archiving, security, digital transformation, unified communications, etc.
Broadly, these solutions fall in the categories of migration, backup, mobile device management, archiving, security, digital transformation, unified communications, etc.
Sales approach – In order to be successful, your sales approach needs to be pro-active. Apart from being able to address pain areas of your customers, your sales teams should be equipped with the knowledge to create a need for upsell & cross-sell solutions. Besides, your sales teams need to be incentivized and goaled on selling cloud solutions. This will help build the foundation of the recurring cloud business model for the years to come.
Customer experience – You need to leverage automation for delivering solutions and services faster to your customers. Your customers are used to buying digitally via ecommerce platforms in their personal lives. Business solutions delivered via leading hyperscale cloud platforms such as CloudBlue help improve your customer buying experience.
Modern-Day Marketing – The legacy ways of marketing such as email marketing is no longer enough to generate customer demand.
The approach to marketing has transformed with new innovative, analytical, video-led and programmatic marketing solutions. As a company, you need to invest time and resources in building efficient modern-day marketing practices to facilitate demand generation from your customers and prospects. Assess In order to build a successful cloud practice, you need to assess the following:
• Your business goals.
• Your customer & prospect segmentation.
• Your sales and technical readiness.
• Cloud GTM strategy
• Your solutions portfolio
• Sales & Technical enablement.
• Demand generation.
• Investments & resources.
Once you have created a differentiation, assessed your business goals & planned your GTM, an effective execution of the GTM plan is needed.