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Another opportunity for partners looking to do business in the cloud is to leverage marketplaces to access diverse cloud services they could not otherwise offer.
Companies offering partners marketplaces include cloud storage provider Box, AppDirect, which offers cloud-based app stores, and cloud infrastructure provider Rackspace, which built a cloud tools marketplace for software and services for its customers.
"AppDirect makes it easy for businesses to find, buy and manage applications," said Daniel Saks, co-CEO of AppDirect. "We make it easy for businesses to manage these apps."
As these cloud business models begin to emerge, uncertainty remains about creating cloud practices, said Jeff Kaplan, managing director of ThinkStrategies and an organizer of the Cloud Channel Summit.
"The speakers admitted that the cloud still engenders a lot of confusion," Kaplan said. "So there's still a long way to go. It [the confusion] has less to do with technology, because the technology is there. It has more to do with confusion about how the cloud impacts business relationships and the search for the right formula for success."
But Mike Bruno, vice president of business development with solution provider ASAP Systems, of San Jose, Calif., said he came away with some ideas about his fledgling cloud practice.
"My company is an on-premise solution provider, and we are transitioning to the cloud," he said. "We are trying to figure out the right mix where you go to a market, and these cloud marketplaces can do that."