Brendan Haskins

The market for public cloud and as-a-service computing solutions is evolving at a blistering pace as new business models and customer requirements emerge says Brendan Haskins, CTO at Tarsus On Demand.

IT channel partners such as distributors, value-added resellers (VARs), cloud service providers (CSPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) need to be agile and remain relevant if they are to keep up with the rapid speed of change in this market. 

Haskins says that the cloud has developed over the last few years from a usage-based method of obtaining computer resources into an enabler for more adaptable business models and digital transformation. As more businesses use multi-cloud architectures, the landscape has gotten increasingly complex.

IT channel companies that serve small and medium businesses (SMBs) thus need to adjust their operations and strategies to ensure they can support their customers as their needs evolve. According to Haskins, "the problem we and our channel partners encountered when we originally set out on the cloud journey was transitioning from big-ticket hardware sales towards ongoing, as-a-service billing."

“This demanded a significant shift in organisational culture and operations, from focusing on closing transactions when customers needed a hardware refresh to delivering continuous service. But the market has continued to evolve and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings and simple software solutions such as hosted email have become extremely commoditised.

“To remain relevant in a world where customers can purchase IaaS, SaaS or platform-as-a-service directly from the hyperscale public cloud providers, the channel needs to find new ways to add value to justify making a margin. We believe the way to do so is to help businesses solve business problems and achieve their digital transformation goals.”

Simplifying cloud deployment 

“In this world, the role of a cloud enabler like Tarsus On Demand and its channel ecosystem is to simplify cloud deployment for end-user companies,” adds Haskins.

“SMBs migrating to the cloud, especially those that run hybrid or multi-clouds, quickly discover that moving to an as-a-service world isn’t a simple matter of signing up with their credit cards.

“They face multiple challenges in terms of cost optimisation, security and data integration as they move workloads to multiple cloud providers. This is where the channel can still add enormous value by aggregating and orchestrating cloud products and knowledge at the point of consumption, making the technical and operational complexity as close to invisible as possible to the end-user company.”

In this environment, the IT channel is best viewed as a connected ecosystem that prioritises the demands of the client rather than operating as a linear supply chain. SMBs can benefit from the value-added technical, consulting, vertical industry experience, and tools that cloud enablers like Tarsus On Demand, CSPs, VARs, ISVs, and consulting companies can unite to provide.

Tarsus On Demand strives to bring all the elements together for its partners and their customers. This includes sales enablement, demand generation and stable, scalable platforms for billing, management, and the provision & orchestration of services.

“The subscription model offers resellers predictable revenue streams and enables SMBs to be more agile, scalable and efficient in how they operate,” says Haskins.

“In order to fully realise the benefits of as-a-service, SMBs still want partners that can assist them in cost optimisation, cloud migration planning, and administration simplification. By gaining a thorough grasp of their clients' problems, partners can continue to contribute value. The channel will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come if we collaborate with other members of the ecosystem to overcome obstacles and remain relevant in an ever changing business environment,” says Haskins.

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