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"It certainly has become very evident over the last 12 to 18 months that the world we operate in has been changing very rapidly," said Dupler, whose company is building its own private-label cloud service and has won numerous awards for its cloud computing leadership. "Cloud computing has changed the world we are operating in dramatically and is having a big impact on our go-to-market strategy.
"This is all about getting a group of thought leaders in this industry from the traditional channel, from the applications side of the house and service providers to really collaborate, talk about what is going on, what it means for our businesses and really try to drive this more effectively and efficiently to all of our benefits," he said. Key to making that happen is solution providers talking frankly about what is going on in their businesses, said Dupler.
Tony Jimenez, founder, president and CEO of MicroTech, Vienna, Va., No. 67 on the VAR500, said the secret to success today lies in "trying to figure out what makes life easier for people." Innovative technology products such as e-mail have led to huge productivity gains for businesses, he pointed out. "That has allowed people to do twice or even 10 times as much as they were doing before," he said.
Jimenez said the business-sharing theme laid out by BOB conference keynote speaker Lisa Gansky, co-founder and former CEO of oFoto, a photo-sharing Web site that was bought by Kodak, is key to succeeding in the cloud era. He said far too often technology is underutilized. "We let our severs sit half-utilized," he said. "In its simplest form, it is called load-balancing. If an airline had 10 flights coming to LA and every one of them was half-filled, they would cut it down to five flights a day. It is about collaboration and utilization to gain efficiency. That is what the focus should be on."
Eric Ransden, managing director of technology solutions for International Computerware Inc., a Marlborough, Mass., company named to UBM Channel’s Tech Elite 250 list, said it all comes down to staying focused on helping customers build their businesses.
"Technology is secondary," he said. "It's about the value you provide your customers to improve their business results. We are always pushing the envelope with technology to give our customers new ways to solve problems. That's what gives them a competitive advantage. If we can solve the problems our customers have and exceed their expectations, then we will have them as customers for a very long time."