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Doing Both: Customer Premises vs. Cloud Solutions

Barry Adams

By Barry Adams

As I work with many value added resellers (VARs) across the U.S., I see a similar dilemma. They have built highly successful businesses by selling, installing and maintaining customer premises equipment (CPE)-based solutions. With cloud-based solutions becoming more rapidly adopted by enterprises, many of these same VARs initially see this as a threat to their established model. Rather than embracing cloud-based solutions, these VARs tend to try and sell against cloud by extolling the benefits of premises-based. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle and in reality, the VARs who are successful in the future will do both.

So what are the primary drivers for cloud that these VARs should consider?

  • Expanded Reach New industries & new lines of business in existing customers
  • More Predictable Revenue Stream Monthly recurring revenue vs. one-time transactions
  • Improved Profitability Higher margins and potential new services like assessments, integrations and data migration
  • Reduced Business Risk Predictable cash flow; relevance to customer base

According to research from MarketBridge/IPED the most successful VARs will be the ones who adopt this hybrid” approach and can address customer requirements across multiple solution models. Successful VARs are making this fundamental change to their businesses. For those who are not looking to invest in their own cloud offerings, there are many quality agent, resale and white-label offerings that will allow them to gain traction quickly and take advantage of the growth of cloud.

Barry Adams is manager of partner operations for Cisco‘s Cloud and Service Provider Partner Organization.  He leads a team of partner account managers responsible for the acceleration of cloud sales for Cisco Certified Cloud Providers. Adams been in the Service Provider Partner Organization in various roles for the last six years. He previously spent 10 years in various roles in the IT industry including Nortel, AT&T and his own company, which focused on managed service solutions for SMBs. Adams is a member of the 2013-14 Channel Partners Advisory Board.


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