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5 Channel Opportunities: DevOps, OpEx and Pinterests E-Comm Play

Lorna GareyFirst off, if you missed the uproar over Lenovo and Superfish, click over to our recent coverage. The lesson for any solutions provider that resells or maintains fleets of PCs – or, heck, any hardware – is that it’s imperative to do a clean OS install before issuing systems to customers or your own end users, no matter who the OEM is.

Your Next Customer: The CDO?

We’ve heard plenty about the IT budget moving to the chief marketing officer. Now Experian has released a report that says the next big player in the c-suite is the chief data officer. The reasoning is that 77 percent of 267 CIOs and CDOs in the Experian study say big data is not being used to its full potential, and CEOs want to know why. The culprits, as expected, are budget (cited by 51 percent), increased volumes and lack of understanding of analytics tools (47 percent each). Gartner says that by 2015, just 25 percent of large global orgs will have CDOs, so there’s no need to panic yet. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to help customers implement analytics and better manage their data: Ninety percent of respondent organizations say data is changing the way they do business, according to Experian, and over the next 12 to 18 months, over half (58 percent) of CIOs say the volume of data they need to manage will increase at an average rate of 28 percent.

Pay Me Now

In what it says is the first program of its kind, DR-as-a-service provider Axcient says it will compensate channel partners up front for the sale, delivery and support of its cloud solution. “This makes it easier and more lucrative for VARs to grow their business in the SaaS model versus the traditional licensing and procurement methods for on-premise[s] software and hardware,” according to the release. The program is called “SaaS:FLO,” or “Software as a Service: Front Loaded Option,” and comes courtesy of $25 million in private equity underwriting. Solutions providers looking to get into cloud sales but leery of an opex financial model may want to take a look.

Oh, Grow Up

Speaking of cloud, RightScale released a quiz to identify a company’s stage of cloud maturity, compare results to other companies of similar size and get recommendations. There are a few gotcha questions, such as whether a private cloud and a virtualized environment are the same and “Is cloud a normal and supported option for appropriate applications?” However, the quiz may be a good starting point for discussions with customers considering public cloud services. While you’re at RightScale’s site, grab a copy of its new 2015 State of the Cloud report. In January, the cloud portfolio management company surveyed 930 technical professionals about their cloud adoption. The report is worth a read. Some highlights: Public cloud leads private, Docker is the new darling, and AWS adoption is 57 percent from last year, while Azure IaaS is second at 12 percent, up from 6 percent. Azure IaaS is especially popular with enterprise respondents.

DevOps Gets Certified

If you’re considering implementing DevOps in house or setting up a program to help customers get more agile, check out the new DevOps Institute. The DOI “seeks to codify best practices in DevOps into repeatable training, education and certifications” and will offer at launch two classes: DevOps Foundation and Certified Agile Service Manager. The Institute was founded by Lisa Schwartz, Jayne Groll and Alan Shimel, and its board of regents includes Lori Macvittie, principal technical evangelist at F5 Networks, and Sanjeev Sharma, worldwide lead – DevOps technical sales and adoption at IBM.

From Cupcakes to E-Commerce Powerhouse?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Pinterest is in talks to raise $500 million in a round of funding expected to value the five-year-old company at around $11 billion. If that sounds lofty, consider that comScore says the site had 75.8 million visitors in January, an increase of 37 percent year-over-year, and the Verge reports that it’s considering adding a “buy” button so that users can make purchases directly from within the social site. Pinterest already lets users download apps when on iOS devices. Solutions providers working on digital marketing strategies for themselves or clients may want to add Pinterest to the list of social sites warranting a targeted strategy, right along with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and industry-specific sites like Yelp.

Follow executive editor @LornaGarey on Twitter.


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