You've been in this business since 2005. What trends do you see, and how would you advise VARs and MSPs?
I suppose you could say that subscription services and public clouds are trends. But I would submit that we are really witnessing a more strategic approach to how technology providers deliver services to their customers, and this includes enterprises.
The shift to an increasingly mobile, user-centric, BYOD world requires that MSPs and VARs fundamentally change how that gets accomplished. This is about how to deliver a portfolio of high-value business services to their customers.
The customer base for cloud services is going to go somewhere, so technology companies like VARs and MSPs have to ask themselves, 'Don’t we want a piece of that market?' Few people have the breadth of understanding and the contacts that we do in this marketplace.
It seems today the lines are blurring in the industry as resellers become MSPs or distributors can be solution providers as well. Do you think everybody needs to turn to cloud to stay afloat?
That is true, the lines are blurring, but I think it doesn't matter what you call yourself. The only thing that matters is how soon and how well MSPs, resellers and distys can provide what their customers want in this new-world order.
The underlying issue here is that users are demanding access to their applications on the device of their choice, and they want it on a subscription basis. The only viable delivery vehicle for that is cloud. The tough part is execution, so that is where Affinity comes in.
So as MSPS and VARs are trying to break into this industry, how do you help?
We offer a program called ACC SAID, which stands for Strategic Assessment and Implementation Design. After a detailed assessment, we work together to formulate strategy and create a plan around what they want to deliver to those customers. Every engagement is unique, so we determine which partners and tools to map and sequence.
What kinds of VARs are coming to Affinity Cloud Connections? What partners are you looking to work with?
Every partner we are working with understands there is a clock ticking, and they realize the urgency to get to market. Inertia, internal politics and just plain confusion of overwhelming options are a few of the reasons they call us for help.
We work with VARs who embrace our vision of how to stay relevant, meaning that they recognize the need to add cloud services to their portfolio. Affinity will help them achieve that in short order.
What kinds of plans are you formulating, and how do VARs choose what they want to deliver to their customers?
VARs need to first consider their installed base of customers and how to help those customers stay relevant and successful in their particular [vertical] industry. Step two is to contact Affinity to help them develop an efficient and cost-effective road map to provide those services.
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