I was speaking to an IT shop owner this morning who will be attending SMB Nation in Vegas in a couple of weeks. His worry is How Do I Make Money From The Cloud?
Agents have a similar worry. One reason agents worry is because selling Managed Services in Consultative Selling is very different than selling a PRI or T1. Very Different!
It's transition time - time to take some sales training (Call RAD-INFO!)
For value-added resellers who sell IT services, the Cloud is still an opportunity. Here's 3 ways VAR's can profit from the Cloud:
One: partner with SAAS providers to get residual commissions from customers you bring to them. It isn't much money, but every stream of income counts. (I'd rather have 25 small streams of income than 1 big one).
Two: someone has to the integration and migration. Migrating databases to SAAS requires labor. IT shops can get paid for that. Integration with the SAAS provider and the client company employees is another space that needs to be filled. (VAR's could just re-bill the SAAS with a support or management fee).
Finally, the management piece. Remember, that not every application and certainly not all data will be moving to the cloud. Some of it will be a hybrid solution of private cloud and public cloud. You know what becomes important? Access, security and backup.
By Access, I mean ways to access the data in the cloud: Internet Access, MPLS or VPN. With Redundancy and reliability, too.
By security, I mean that private clouds coupled with lots of government regulations mean that security on the WAN as well as the LAN will be important - and likely too complicated for any in-house tech department. Access to the Access, if you will.
Lastly, data backup, email archiving and storage will be even more important as we move to the cloud. Someone has to manage that. It could be you.
In the Agent World, we have TEM and TAM. VAR's will need something similar.
TEM is telecom expense management (and sold as software-as-a-service, btw). Even circuits that I did not sell to the customer can be checked and inventoried on a TEM platform. Bill reconciliation is one piece of it, but also as offices open and close, employees leave and join, connections will need to be moved, changed, added or terminated. TEM helps to watch all that.
Close to that is TAM, telecom asset management. Laptops, EVDO cards, cellphones, data cards, routers, switches, IP phones - all these hardware assets that an employee or very small office may have - need inventory management. When the employee leaves, don't you want his hardware back? Don't you want to know how many data cards and data plans are in service? TAM.
VAR's could do something similar. In the security realm, companies would like to know that when they fire Al, he can be locked out of all data, systems and networks. That's your job!
Seth Godin says a Linchpin manages chaos, makes the complex simple. That's the Value.