Partners, Here’s How to Make Money from AWS, Azure, Google Cloud

Public Cloud

By Jeffrey Burt

Getting onto the cloud is an important step for businesses, and hyperscalers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform have many of the services and applications they’re looking for.

But for channel partners helping customers make the migration, there are challenges; in particular, these cloud service providers (CSPs) don’t pay direct commissions to indirect sellers, so partners need to be smart if they’re going to take advantage of the rush to the cloud.

Managed services are a way to make money on the public cloud. Manon Buettner, CEO of Nuvalo; Angela Hogaboom, founder and president of OpenSky Networks; and Michelle Ruyle, CEO of Optimized Channel, will talk about how managed services can help partners get not only professional-services fees but also recurring commissions as they lead their clients into the cloud. It all happens in the April 10 panel conversation, “Where’s the Money in Hyperscale Public Clouds?”, part of the revenue and supplier portfolio conference track, sponsored by Nextiva, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. The panel is presented by Cloud Girls.

Hear from these cloud experts and 100+ more industry-leading speakers at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, April 9-12, 2019, in Las Vegas. Register now!

Buettner, Hogaboom and Ruyle all took time to answer a few questions about hyperscale cloud providers and the channel. The answers were edited for length.

Channel Partners: What are the biggest challenges for indirect sellers when dealing with the largest cloud providers?

Nuvalo's Manon Buettner

Nuvalo’s Manon Buettner

Manon Buettner: Intimidation — fear they’ll be exposed for not knowing public-cloud products or nuance. Monetization — being paid a percentage of an MSP’s management fee or SI’s reseller fee. Security — helping clients understand best practices for multiple CSPs plus managing a security posture. The also need to compete with internal team predispositions, momentum and politics, realize AWS isn’t the only choice and understand the nuances and lessons learned of each.

Angela Hogaboom: The biggest challenge is identifying ways to monetize large provider services. The large cloud providers don’t offer the traditional commission structure that agents are accustomed to. Without knowing how to monetize, we become hesitant to offer these services and miss out on being involved in cloud initiatives.

Michelle Ruyle: The large CSPs tend to be more MSP-friendly than agent-friendly. Also, for agents, AWS, Azure, Google and others do not pay agents on the customer’s monthly spend. There are a few “specialty companies” paying agents on public cloud customer spend, but it’s an anomaly. The way agents make money from the CSPs is through professional or managed services. Agent beware: Not all MSPs pay on professional services; however, all pay on managed services.

CP: How do managed services enable indirect sellers to address these challenges?

MB: Being a one-stop shop for discovery, planning, migration and ongoing optimization and right-sizing — and an extension of client’s team. There’s also simplified billing and “operationalizing” talent in a talent-short industry. Also, everyone spends so much time on the wedding that they overlook the marriage — upgrades, patching, troubleshooting.

AH: Management is about providing support and …

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