Top solution providers say they expect strong growth in 2014, particularly around cloud, managed services and mobility.
During a roundtable discussion at the Best of Breed Conference, hosted by CRN publisher The Channel Company, in Tampa, Fla., top Solution Provider 500 members talked about their optimistic business outlooks for 2014.
"Overall, I'd say we're expecting 10 to 15 percent growth," said Harry Zarek, president and CEO of Compugen. "What I'm seeing is more customers understanding that there's a limit to what they can do on their own and wanting to look for people who can help them quickly move to a new world of IT."
Zarek didn't ascribe the growth to one particular technology or market. Instead, he said there's a growing desire in the midsize and enterprise space to offload and outsource more IT operations, which spells more overall opportunities for the channel.
"Mid-market customers know they don't have the capacity to do a lot of what's coming at them," Zarek said. "Even the large enterprises are saying there's a limitation to what they can do themselves, and I think that's good news for us."
Majdi "Mike" Daher, founder and CEO of Denali Advanced Integration, said he expects big growth around mobility and mobile device management. "I'm a big believer that where there's chaos, there's a lot of opportunity," he said. "And we see a tremendous opportunity around the chaos with mobility."
In addition to providing management and integration around client mobile devices, Daher said Denali's traditional IT infrastructure business will increase around 30 percent this year, and he expects that growth rate to continue next year.
"Our managed services business is definitely growing, but it's a smaller number. Today it represents about 10 percent of our business," Daher said," but it's growing faster."
GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler also said he's optimistic business will grow in 2014, especially around cloud services and managed services.
"Our traditional IT business this year is going to be down in the [high single] digits to 10 percent," Dupler said. "But on the other side, the new stuff we're doing, like our cloud management as a service, that's going to grow around 50 percent by year's end. We're seeing huge uptake in the new wave, and in the last wave we're seeing things slow down a bit."
While Dupler said the cloud and managed services business is a smaller piece of GreenPages' revenue pie compared to traditional IT hardware and software sales, he said it will soon become the dominant driver for his company's business. The question for a lot of VARs, he said, is can they grow their new services business fast enough to keep up with the decline of the old model?
"Is the second wave forming fast enough to offset the pressure on the traditional business?" Dupler said. "This year for us, it will be about breaking even, but we're very bullish on what that means for us long term."
PUBLISHED OCT. 15, 2013