The channel economy for cloud services is rapidly becoming the major avenue for cloud consumption. Every major cloud infrastructure provider now has a channel delivery ecosystem and multiple moving parts.

It’s critical to understand how these programs work and how the rise of channel will shape the new digital economy.

The vector of service delivery for the IT market has changed once again. Cloud computing triggered a fundamental shift in IT consumption and the rise of the on-demand, services-based online market that drove the field forward. This change also brought significant disruption to the traditional stalwarts of the IT economy, notably hardware-makers and VARs that had to adjust to serve the new demand for cheap, commodity-style servers and storage from service providers, and a drop-off in premium sales to enterprises as those organizations looked outward to cloud providers for resources. VARs, global SIs and channel distributors were caught flatfooted by the rise of self-service, on-demand ordering and consumption, and demand for new types of IT services that revolved around concepts such as distributed computing, DevOps and cloud.

The channel players and hardware-makers that got ambushed by those trends are now reasserting their place in the IT market, following the army of managed IT services and infrastructure providers that have already done so. This report is an overview of how the major cloud provider channel and partner programs operate, what their impact is, and what enterprise IT buyers and service providers should be aware of when thinking about strategy.

This Technology & Business Insight report on the most important channel programs for cloud is based on publicly available information regarding major cloud providers’ and vendors’ partner programs and primary survey research carried out by 451 Research. It does not contain confidential information about margins, credits, compensation or similar details were not disclosed in public statements. The report notes similarities and differences in approach and strategy between providers, as well as presenting a broad competitive overview.

The full report includes:

  • Providers and partners will own IT infrastructure provisioning: The majority of enterprise IT infrastructure consumption will happen at provider datacenters, with the aid of IT services providers and cloud brokers.
  • Channel is the avenue for growth for everyone: Large cloud providers don’t have the staff to continue to grow without partners. IT services providers and partners need to meet demand for cloud infrastructure, so the growth opportunity here has strong macro drivers.
  • Services are the true source of increased value for cloud resellers: Infrastructure is decreasing in relative value even as demand ramps up for added value in the form of special services and tailored offerings.
  • The most important cloud channel programs now include global resellers: Previously left out in the cold by self-service cloud infrastructure, major resellers have reasserted their presence with new ways to broker and resell cloud services.

Let us know if you're interested in the full report!