View From The Top: Distribution CEOs Share Cloud Outlook

View From The Top

As distributors define and develop their cloud strategies, it's clear that their direction comes from the top. Here's a look at what several distribution CEOs and other senior executives feel their respective roles are in driving cloud services through the channel.

Andy Bryant

President, Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions

"Solution providers that diversify their portfolios with virtualization, security and networking solutions will be best equipped to assist their customers with building out hybrid and private cloud infrastructure. Given our broad reach into the data center, as well as our robust and growing services offerings, Arrow is positioned to support solution providers as demand for cloud solutions continues to grow."

Rick Hamada

CEO, Avnet

'The cloud represents a tremendous opportunity for Avnet and our channel partners. As a global enterprise ourselves, Avnet has already incorporated cloud computing into our own IT infrastructure. For our partners, not only are we selling to people who are going to build out cloud environments, but we are also working with our VARs to offer more cloud services through them to their customers. This is creating new partnerships and new opportunities for distributing computing power virtually, as opposed to just physically."

Dan Schwab

Co-President, D&H Distributing (right)

"Educating the reseller and the SMB community on how to take advantage of the cloud will be key in 2012, just as pinpointing the right SMB solutions has been key for us. Cloud-based infrastructures offer opportunities for VARs to generate upgrade conversations with their end customers, easing them into this new paradigm with solutions from trusted brands that are tailored for the SMB marketplace. If resellers don't start talking to their clientele, their competitors will. We understand there's a certain cloud learning curve out there, and we're developing programs to clearly address that. VARs need to look to whatever resources and partners are at their disposal in order to build a distinct knowledge in this area."

Alain Monie

CEO, Ingram Micro

"The rise of cloud computing offers new IT service opportunities for the IT channel, many with explosive growth rates. Ingram Micro recognized the cloud’s potential early on and has since become a leading master aggregator of cloud services for the IT channel. The Ingram Micro Cloud and corresponding Cloud Marketplace offer unique go-to-market advantages for our partners. We plan to continue to build on the success of Ingram Micro Cloud in 2012, while investing in additional areas that will further enable our partners’ success."

Kevin Murai

President and CEO, Synnex

"The importance of the cloud, and the opportunities it brings to the channel, will progressively increase in the future. With CloudSolv, Synnex is steadily paving the way for our resellers to quickly create, grow and manage their cloud services businesses with their end users' experience in mind."

Bob Dutkowsky

CEO, Tech Data

"Cloud represents the latest sea change in computing and will become the industry standard for some applications. Tech Data has embraced the cloud and made substantial investments, like our TDCloud and TDMobility offerings and our StreamOne platform, to enable our customers to take advantage of this new reality."

Dean Douglas

Westcon Group, President and CEO

"Cloud opens the door to an entirely new world of opportunities for distributors and their partners. The challenge is far too many are 'point products,' addressing only a portion of the overall solution. A distributor must provide the business and technical guidance necessary to aggregate them into a cohesive, integrated and workable offering -- whether it's on-premise in a private cloud environment or via a public cloud provider. This will empower partners to build a profitable cloud business, no matter how they view the technology. For some, this means purpose-built, private cloud implementations. Other partners will leverage hosted public cloud services tied to value-added offerings for their customer base. Regardless of their focus, we encourage partners to look to Westcon as they embark on new business opportunities leveraging the power of the cloud."

Check out more of CRN's cover package on distributors and the cloud.