IDC, Dropbox Hail Cloud Revolution at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit

INGRAM MICRO CLOUD SUMMIT — The business world continues to move to cloud services, and the channel must evolve alongside it.

IDC's Pam MillerPam Miller, IDC’s director of infrastructure channels research, discussed the oft-mentioned “digital transformation” theme at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Phoenix on Friday, showing stats that reveal how technological disruption will impact all nearly industry verticals in the upcoming years.

“Every customer we have talked to has indicated that digital transformation is at the top of their list of to-dos, and this is a C-Suite, a CEO and a board issue, because if a company’s going to remain competitive they have to invest in digital transformation,” Miller told the audience.

Some of the numbers from IDC’s research speak for themselves. More than two-thirds of IT spend will be cloud-based by 2020, and 70 percent of CIOs have a “cloud first” strategy. But the more interesting IDC statistic was that channel partners and brokers will generate 70 percent of cloud services revenue by 2020. Miller attrituted this to the sheer complexity of the solutions.

“There needs to be this trusted adviser that’s helping them accomplish their goals and [to] get value,” she said. “What this means is that partners must evolve.”{ad}

Miller highlighted a morning (and moreover, a week) of keynotes that stress how cloud technology is moving business into a new era. Ingram Micro on Thursday encouraged partners to get into infrastructure as a service.

Dropbox's Thomas HansenThomas Hansen, global vice president of revenue at Dropbox, noted that IT policies have shifted over the years from CIOs forcing users to use certain technologies, and then to a bring-your-own-device mindset, bring-your-own-application, and finally, bring-your-own-cloud.

“You have user-led computing. That’s where Dropbox comes into the equation with bring your own cloud,” Hansen said. “And we fundamentally believe that the truth and the power lie with the user, and we fundamentally that our responsibility is to provide solutions to the user that are simple, easy and fast … whether you are at home or at work or anywhere in between on any operating system and on any device.”

Hansen told Channel Partners that his company is enjoying major channel growth. There are now 5,000 registered members of the Dropbox Partner Network, and IDC said Dropbox recently became the quickest company to reach $1 billion in SaaS sales.

Hansen says Dropbox has the benefit of being a well-known brand, but that can be a curse. He said many people think of the company as a consumer-based file-sharing business – neither of which is true. Instead, he says Dropbox is a collaboration-based B2B organization. Dropbox is now working to make partners aware of that.

“It’s important that we explain and re-educate the resellers on what we actually do, what are our products, what are our services and that they know they can actually be partners of ours and resell our service,” he said.

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