CompTIA Breakaway 2010 Industry Panel Discusses Changing Role of IT Channel Partners
Aug 16, 2010 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) --
A panel of senior executives from technology companies discussed cloud computing and managed information technology (IT) services offering business opportunities for IT channel partners willing and able to adapt to the changing marketplace at CompTIA Breakaway 2010.
The Channel Chiefs Power Panel featuring senior executives from Cisco, Google, Intel and Microsoft highlighted day three at Breakaway 2010, an event for IT companies in North America. More than 1,000 industry figures attended the annual conference sponsored by CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the IT industry.
All four executives agreed that while the role of their channel partners is changing, the value added resellers, system integrators and solution providers they work with are still critical to their business plans.
"As a product vendor, we can only get the ball about half way there," said Ross Brown, vice president, worldwide partner sales, Microsoft. It's up to the channel partner to complete the task and provide "the fit and finish, a seamless experience for the end user."
But panelists also stressed that the time is now for channel partners to embrace technology solutions such as cloud computing and managed IT services. These solutions provide even the smallest customers with access to a whole host of technologies previously available only to the biggest enterprises. In many instances these applications and functions are delivered remotely rather than on site at the customer's location.
"If you're not engaged in remote IT, you're dead," said Greg Pearson, worldwide sales operations, Intel.
Pearson also urged technology solution providers to "get up to speed" on the latest smart phones, tablet PCs and other devices that have their origins in the consumer world. Business customers want access to the same devices in the workplace.
"You need to be the expert in figuring out how to integrate them in to the network," he said.
Another area of opportunity for channel partners made possible by the move toward cloud computing is in the development of specialized applications for customers, according to Kevin Gough, the head of partner marketing for Google Enterprise.
"VARs are also becoming independent software vendors and building applications for customers that generate recurring revenue," he said.
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