Cloud Experts: Customer Needs, More Choices Control the Conversation

James Anderson**Editor’s Note: Register now for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the gathering place for the technology services community, April 10-13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.**

The cloud market has matured in the last two years, as partners and their customers rethink how the technology helps their business.

DSM's Matt SandersTwo cloud experts will elaborate on those challenges, April 11, at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.

Matt Sanders, national director of channels at DSM, and David McCullough, Megaport’s cloud strategy director for the Americas, will discuss their observation of the cloud space on the Jive Big Stage in the expo hall. It’s part of the programming associated with the Cloud Computing Lab experience area. Jaime Zarate, executive director of cloud services for Richardson Communications, will moderate the talk.

Channel Partners spoke to Sanders and McCullough to get a taste for what they might be discussing in April. We have edited the Q&A transcript for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: What’s one observation you’ve made regarding the cloud market in the last year?

Matt Sanders: To me, 2016 was a very important year for the cloud space. The idea of “the cloud” was massively overhyped, confusing many, and scaring most agents from adopting the technology.  We have seen so many companies go to “the cloud” and then leave — realizing they weren’t solving any of their business needs. Cloud 2.0 allows us to leverage cloud offerings from multiple cloud solutions, and solve actual business requirements. In the last year, we have seen the adoption of … IaaS, public cloud, SD-WAN, and many others. Not only have we seen customers embracing the new technology, but we have also seen the channel accept the challenge to position these services properly.{ad}

Megaport's David McCulloughDavid McCullough: Enterprise customers continue to look for more choices when it comes to public cloud and “as a service” providers for their business. According to RightScale’s State of the Cloud 2016 report, the enterprise consumes approximately six mission-critical “as a service” applications, on average.  This number increases every year and enterprises are looking for better ways to connect their on-premises data center environments with their cloud environments. As such, demand for network architecture that provides flexible private cloud interconnection is on the rise. 

With a private “direct connect” solution, a cloud service provider allows [its] enterprise customers to benefit from public internet bypass, greater security and increased performance. Applications and workloads are increasingly dictating how the underlying network is designed for the enterprise. Because enterprises are accustomed to consuming cloud storage, compute, PaaS, and SaaS services on an on demand, “pay as you go” basis, this means that there is …


… a greater appetite for a similar consumption model for network services. In the past few years this has given rise to more entrants in the software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) space. SDN providers that provide flexible and elastic network solutions will see a higher rate of growth than those that don’t allow their customers to self-provision and dynamically allocate bandwidth for various types of workloads.

CP: What do you hope partners will take out of your talk?

DM: Partners should let enterprise customers’ requirements for public cloud, PaaS, and SaaS providers dictate the conversation when it comes to designing the underlying infrastructure. Understanding what applications and “as a service” workloads are important to an enterprise will inherently lead to a deeper conversation around network, IaaS, space and power requirements. {ad}

There are many enterprise customers that have grown up in the cloud and that have also been on a journey toward migrating to the cloud. Helping customers with their cloud migration strategy leads to uncovering new ways to helping solve for bursty traffic applications and other on demand requirements for network services. I would encourage partners to better understand the key players in the SDN and SD-WAN space as they work toward helping customers optimize their networks for performance, flexibility and security.

MS: DSM is new to the channel; we don’t have the brand awareness of some of the other exhibitors. What I hope they take away from this year’s show is awareness of who DSM is, and why these partners need to be focused on multi-cloud. We just saw a massive outage with a well-known public cloud provider and this devastated many companies. Leveraging the multi-cloud strategy helps eliminate the concern that was brought to the forefront with that issue. We are excited to show these partners how our game-changing technology can help them positon multi-cloud solutions to their customers. Being the new kid on the block can be hard, but when we have the support of a globally known company like HPE, it helps DSM position our true multi-cloud platform up against any of the more well-known offerings.   

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