This is part three of a five-part series in which Freek Hemminga, Leaseweb’s Global Channel & Strategic Alliances Manager, looks ahead to the challenges and opportunities for channel partners in the coming year. Read part 1 and 2.
Two specific areas offer solution providers major opportunities for growth this year: first, emerging technologies enabled by the cloud and, second, compliance. They both offer ways to differentiate a solution provider’s business from its competition and so encourage growth from not only an installed base but from new customers too. But time is of the essence. The sooner providers add these to their service offerings the better.
Take customers to the cloud
The Internet of Things is one example of an emerging technology which is closely connected with other services such as big data and analytics services. Taking customers to the cloud and enabling them to exploit these technologies is a significant new opportunity and booming market for solution providers.
Build business based on Trust
Another important way for them to build business is to lead with the idea of “Trust” – through compliance and security – when promoting cloud offerings. Increasing legislation regarding data privacy and security means that customers are demanding proof that the systems they are using are compliant so they are very receptive to this message.
It’s good to demonstrate to customers that they can rely on the new cloud technology and they have nothing to fear from it. Installed base customers, in particular, may have reservations about making the move to the cloud but by having the necessary certifications of compliance to international standards it’s easily possible to give them the reassurance they need to invest and make the transformation. Being compliant and having the paperwork to prove it is a strong differentiator in a crowded marketplace which will protect existing business as well as attract new customers.
(By the way, you can read more about these issues in a couple of recent Leaseweb blogs on managing risk and building trust.)
Concentrate on core business
Getting certified, however, can be a slow and drawn-out process for service providers to conduct on their own. And customers are unlikely to hang around waiting for that to happen when other providers can get them up and running already. By outsourcing infrastructure, compliance issues are resolved by the infrastructure provider which removes this major headache from solution providers and lets them concentrate on their core business – based on a recurring revenue business model.