There is a lot of noise coming out of the channel. Personnel changes left and right and center. Who's leaving, who's joining, who just signed an agreement. Bzzzzzzzz It's just noise for the most part.
Funny that one master agent who fired their VP at Channel Partners and is famous for press releases didn't announce that. Or a hosted provider who pumps out PR like it was printing money didn't announce any of its personnel changes either.
VZ overhauled their channel program. Again. And people will still sign up for the temporary cash and the continued uncertainty.
AT&T launched a Partner Exchange.
Lots of cloud service providers announcing expanded channel resources. well, going from 1 to 2 is a huge expansion.
But seriously, I think most executives have under-estimated how much support the Channel would need to quote and sell cloud services, especially UC.
Solera got into the channel. I remember when they were pitching CALEA boxes.
One big problem for VARs is that not only is selling hardware easier and more comfortable for them, it allows them to cash flow. Sure a VAR may have $2M in revenue but $1.7M of that goes to Tech Data for goods. However, they need the upfront money to continue their business model. It isn't always feasible to shift to a recurring revenue model. The only way to change that is to finance the contract and pay all the commission up-front -- but there is a lot of risk there.
Another problem is channel conflict. NoJitter has a good read about it. Channel Conflict is just one more reason that VARs worry about telecom.
All the moves and changes in the channel means a couple of things - (1) It isn't as easy as anyone thought; (2) a lot of executives think that going channel is a way to get a free sales force (WRONG!); (3) reality hasn't sank in yet.
I am always available for consulting on channel strategy, just give me a call at 813-963-5884.