As the technology market shifts from capex to opex spending, the future of the VAR is uncertain. Without a doubt, the days are numbered for traditional box sales. But, if VARs embrace the cloud and the market’s shift to on-demand/pay-as-you-go service models, not only will VARs survive, they will thrive. It all comes down to relationships, and no segment of the industry has relationships like the consultative VAR.
End customers no longer really want to know about the pieces and parts that make their systems work; they just want those systems to keep on working. SLA’s, customer service, and excellent support have become the true market differentiators, and those are the areas in which many VARs excel. Plus, VARs’ tight integration with their customers’ current hardware and management stacks typically accelerates customer adoption of cloud services.
For these reasons, no one is better positioned than the VAR to be the first shoulder legacy engineers lean on as they shift enterprise IT to the cloud.
But first, the VARs must make their own shift to the cloud. To successfully transition to a cloud business model, VARs need to revamp their revenue models, develop new sales and marketing skills, and change their focus to long-term business strategy. It’s definitely not an undertaking for the faint of heart.
Fortunately, VARs aren’t in this alone. Peak has worked with Avnet, Comstor, and other distributors to develop comprehensive sales enablement programs and cloud-service bundles (cloud services coupled with complementary products) to make it easy for VARs to move quickly into the cloud market. Many of these distributors are also taking care of invoicing and other back-end services on the VARs’ behalf. Most importantly, these distributors have worked through the revenue kinks to ensure each touch point in the channel is receiving appropriate credit and revenue within this new consumption model.
At Peak, we’ve restructured our cloud infrastructure-as-a-service sales team in order to support the extremely high volume of VARs already transitioning to cloud services. We have no direct sales force; we only sell through the channel, so helping VARs develop the knowledge-base and unique cloud service offerings they need to go to market is among the company’s highest priorities.
Read our white paper, The Future of the VAR, to learn more about Peak’s unique programs to help VARs expand their geographic footprint, take advantage of up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, and create recurring revenue streams on high margin cloud products.