If 2008 is remembered as the year that a new generation of on-demand services, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing, gained widespread acceptance and accelerated adoption, then I think 2009 will be the time when winning channel partners will become more critical to the on-demand service providers.
Until now, SaaS and cloud computing vendors have been focusing on building reliable and scalable service solutions and demonstrating the viability of their on-demand alternatives to customers.
Now, that they have generally achieved this objective, their next challenge is to build an effective indirect go-to-market strategy and set of strong channel relationships, so they can rapidly and profitably extend their market reach and satisfy the needs of specific market segments.
The need to build a successful channel strategy has become even more essential as a result of the current economic crisis which is placing greater financial … Read More »
Since Michael Dell returned to the helm of his company, he has been dramatically reshaping its channel and services strategies. He is also putting the IT industry on notice that the way hardware companies define and deliver services is changing.
The old guard of the IT industry recognized in the 1980s and 1990s that tech support, professional services and outsourcing could generate lucrative revenues and create greater lock-in opportunities in an increasingly commoditized hardware business. Lou Gerstner saved IBM by turning it into a services company.
Dell bucked this trend by investing in sophisticated supply-chain, fulfillment and customer service processes which enabled it to succeed as a low-cost, high-margin manufacturer.
HP stole a page from Dell’s book and usurped its price advantage. Without a strong services story to serve as a safety-net, Dell was vulnerable to customer defections. It is now seeking to … Read More »