How to Sell Application and ‘as-a-Service’ Clouds

Cloud Apps
James Anderson

James Anderson

**Editor’s Note: Register now for Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 25-28, in Austin, Texas.**

What does a solution provider do once its customers have caught up with innovations like cloud and SD-WAN?

Clarify360's Jo Peterson

Jo Peterson

Five experts will sit on a concurrent-education panel to tackle “Selling Application and “as-a-Service” Clouds: Make Money Moving up the Stack” at Channel Partners Evolution, Sept. 25-28, in Austin, Texas.

Jo Peterson of Clarify360, Tina Gravel of Cyxtera, Jasmina Muller of CenturyLink, Chris Peters of 8×8 and Carmen Sorice of Sungard Availability Services comprise the panel.

Peterson spoke to Channel Partners on behalf of the panel to give a preview of subject matter.

The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Channel Partners: Who is your target audience, and what kind of obstacles do they face?

Jo Peterson: Organizations are rushing to the cloud. Customers are looking at their options around many previously hardware-based or on-premises-based solutions that are now available in an as-a-service model. The five fastest growing categories in the as-a-service space are ERP, CRM, security as a service, big data as a service and collaboration/UCaaS.

Customer are looking at a number of drivers as they evaluate their choices. Many of the drivers lend themselves to a cloud-based solution with an operating expense component. The three top considerations are cost, rapid deployment, flexibility and scalability. Overall, the total cost of ownership for a cloud-based solution can be 50-60 percent less than for traditional solutions over a 10-year period.

Cloud-based solutions offer a basic configuration with a limited range of options that are designed to meet the requirements of most businesses — an approach that can significantly reduce cost.

Vendors have been developing new ways for companies to acquire additional software and software as a service and functionality on a subscription basis. This makes cloud-based systems even more appropriate for companies that are quickly evolving to meet a changing competitive environment. Security as a service, big data as a service and collobaration/UCaaS are being adopted by organizations of all sizes and all verticals.

CP: Could you list a few enterprise application-based cloud services that partners might consider adding?

JP: The target audience for cloud-based ERP often has the following characteristics:

  • SMB customers that feel they are not getting the most out of their current project management or accounting software.
  • Companies that take on more and different types of businesses that need to be monitored now, not in the aftermath.
  • SMB customers with 10-250 PCs that have internal IT staff or partner-delivered IT capabilities.
  • Midsize, project-driven organizations.
  • Business with the following application needs: core financial management (general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable (GLAPAR); project management; distribution; and customer relationship management (CRM).

Cloud ERP is especially popular for two-tier ERP deployments, in which companies run a primary ERP system on-premises with …

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