How 8 Distributors Are Tackling The Cloud

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ScanSource's cloud-selling strategy is two-pronged. First, the distributor is talking with several cloud services vendors with plans to launch a portfolio of services available to solution providers this year, said Mike Ferney, vice president of merchandising at Catalyst Telecom, a division of ScanSource.

Second, ScanSource is building and testing cloud infrastructure designs that solution providers can leverage to sell private clouds to customers.

Our resellers are selling hardware [already]. We put the pieces together. Traditionally, the need was to go to one source for a server, another source for the VMware, another source for the switch and another again for storage. Weve been working with several vendor partners to put together an integrated solution, really a private cloud in a box, Ferney said.

ScanSource believes that by helping with the heavy lifting and proactively tackling potential integration issues, it can save solution providers time in the field and save manufacturers time in getting their cloud solutions to market, Ferney said.

Our resellers see it as a way to shift some of their resources away from costly integration and more toward front-end selling. Traditionally, [manufacturers] use us to pick, pack and ship. This high-level value-add that we can offer can deliver something to both reseller and vendor, Ferney said.

ScanSource also has expanded plans to educate solution providers on cloud opportunities in 2012, he said, and has posted several Cloud Basics blogs on its Web site. Most [VARs] we work with today are already experts in one area or another. They're already experts in virtualization or storage or switches. Its a matter of pulling all the disciplines together and seeing how they all fit. That's where we can really help them, Ferney said.

Finally, ScanSource can help VARs market their cloud capabilities to end users, he said. What they need [is help] positioning themselves to be your trusted adviser, then your job is to go out and pull those pieces together. Thats what our partners are best at, Ferney said.

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