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Questions about prices are also among the key reasons why some channel partners have chosen to remain on the sidelines until the channel's future with the cloud becomes clear.
"We're not doing too much cloud right now," said Carmine Taglialatela, vice president of business development for TecPort Solutions of Delaplane, Va. "The price pressure and issues around security are largely keeping us away from the cloud right now. If the cloud people could resolve those two things, we would more than likely be willing to adopt."
As cloud services gather momentum, channel partners are forced to adopt completely new strategies for the sale of technology, as the emphasis shifts not only to recurring revenue but also toward a more consultative approach than ever before.
"We can't call ourselves IT consultants anymore, or even engineers," said Paul Smith, a partner at Walpole, Mass-based Datasmith Network Solutions. "We are business advisors now. We have to learn the way the customer does business, and be able to come up with viable advice on how they can use IT to speed their processes or make them more efficient. You can't expect the customers to really understand the best solution and be able to articulate their technology needs. You have to spend time becoming acquainted with their business so that you can recommend a turnkey solution. You have to be an advisor and an educator."