Asian cultures, in general, are seen as highly competitive. Perhaps an over generalisation but within the Asia Pacific region, it is not unwarranted.
However, this may not be the best strategy for regional growth according to one cloud-focused distributor, referring to the challenges ahead for channel partners.
Today, partners are focusing on how they can differentiate themselves from the competition, but a deeper emphasis on how they can complement another partner is also required.
“Partners will need to understand that more and more it is becoming an environment for partnering,” said Dominic O'Hanlon, CEO, Rhipe. “Knowing what you can do to differentiate yourself is important but also knowing where you can complement another partner is equally important in Asia.
“No one company can touch all parts of the modern customer.”
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, O'Hanlon also acknowledged there is no one-size-fits-all profile for success and that successful partners come in all shapes and sizes.
Digital transformation continues to shape the industry and provide additional growth opportunities for the cloud sector.
In the Asia Pacific region, digital transformation alone is expected to add an estimated US$1.16 trillion to its GDP by 2021, according to IDC research.
Issues related to the economics of cloud are also seen as a major industry trend. Cloud technology, in general, has greatly improved inefficiencies and problems associated with companies managing their own servers and data centres, however, problems still remain.
Rather than employing virtual machines, which has its own limitations, containers may offer an alternative, enabling multiple applications to be run on a single virtualised operating system; improving both business agility and cost-savings.
“Digital transformation and business automation are a significant economic opportunity and challenge for all countries,” said O'Hanlon.
Not to be seen in isolation, O'Hanlon emphasised the increasing need to answer questions and concerns about the security of the cloud and the use and storage of customer data. An increasingly hot topic, given recent high profile data breaches.
“We know that malware and disaster recovery strategies are critical, and increasingly the focus on cloud data security – from GDPR to the Cambridge Analytica/ Facebook scandal - means that security remains at the forefront of many customer strategies and solutions,” O'Hanlon added.
Building a profitable channel
At the heart of Rhipe’s strategy for the Asia Pacific region is helping partners build profitable cloud businesses.
“Those who build cloud infrastructure as well as those who resell cloud technology,” said O'Hanlon, referring to the two major groups of partners the company serves.
“We are ruthlessly focused on helping our partners make money, save on costs and reduce risk in their businesses as they offer the right cloud solutions for their customers.”
Additionally, partners will also benefit from the growth in the company’s cloud subscription-licensing business, which Rhipe helps partners manage.
“We have created multi-lingual cloud solution provider (CSP) support teams to deliver assistance to our partners based upon their technology needs,” added O'Hanlon.
Furthermore, the distributor's partner enablement team is “comprised of people who are not only technically competent but also have the business understanding of how best to architect a solution for a subscription-based implementation,” remarked O'Hanlon.
O'Hanlon sees the need for limiting the operating expense for the cloud as a driving force for experimentation in the industry where IT spend is seen as crucial for improving profitability and managing inefficiencies across the industry.
“We find that our partners are seizing more and more of these opportunities to help the customer to experiment with solutions,” added O'Hanlon.
“The elastic nature of the cloud is helping the customer to pilot and then quickly move to deployment in many of the opportunities that present themselves.”
This is where ‘the cloud’ really shines, enabling greater agility and profitability for companies seeking rapid growth in an increasingly mobile, interconnected world; with partnerships and a strong channel strategy seen as central to the realisation of such benefits.