Channel Chiefs: Cloud Is Lucrative, But Don't Forget On-Premise Business

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In a recent CRN-exclusive roundtable, channel chiefs agreed that cloud services and solutions are bolstering partners' businesses across the board, but many said it's important that partners do not get tunnel vision.

"They're providing an end-to-end set of solutions and support to their customers, which includes transitions to the cloud for some of their business -- maybe all of their business -- pieces of it. But it's a really robust business environment out there that's beyond just cloud," said Dell's Frank Vitagliano.

Mike Valentine of Sophos, who was recently crowned most influential channel chief in CRN's premiereChannel Madness Tournament of Chiefs, echoed that sentiment. He said that while cloud will be a "huge part" of Sophos' business in fiscal year 2016, on-prem solutions remain an important piece of the overall portfolio. Valentine said partners love acquiring new cloud business for the lucrative renewal rates. "It's so easy," he said.

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Toshiba's Richard Vaughn said demand for cloud services is permeating all verticals and areas of IT business.

"We're starting to see it in SMB, we’re seeing it in health care, we're really seeing it in human resources," Vaughn said.

But Vaughn was careful to say that cloud is certainly not the center of Toshiba’s entire solutions strategy.

"We're still seeing tremendous growth in just on-premise-type devices," he said.