At the Cloud Partners show, there is a talk show component called CPZ. I have been a guest a couple of times. In this picture you see VP of Indirect Channel Sales at Comcast Business, Craig Schlagbaum, and Jeff Ponts, President of TCA and master agent at DataTel. They were just 2 of the guests.
Schlagbaum made a good point about how IBM and other IT vendors embrace the channel to handle all the businesses outside the Fortune 500 (which they handle directly). Telecom has never embraced that model. Schlagbaum says that may change as business customers need solutions that no one carrier can provide. The Channel Partner will have to mix and match services into a comprehensive portfolio for the customer from different vendors.
One panelist, I think Chris Gonsalves, made the analogy that cloud is like Celebrex. The pharma companies advertise directly to consumers to push up demand, just like IT vendors are doing. Then the patient (or customer) goes to their doctor (or channel partner) and says I want Celebrex. The doctor has to either explain why the patient doesn't need it - or just as likely writes the script so that the patient is satisfied. Channel partners aren't really doing discovery or looking at the whole business case. They are just dealing with the noisy pain points of the patient, whether it is good for them or not.
BTW, in both cases, the patient ignores the 35 seconds per commercial of harmful side effects.