Analysis from research firm Canalys has stressed the importance of channel partners for the cloud, going so far to claim that channels are creating a “new growth engine” for the technology.
Canalys found global cloud providers are reaching a “critical point” in growth strategies as enterprises adopt multi-cloud and hybrid IT models.
These strategies are meant to combat risk by spreading the load among multiple providers, which the analysis said was highlighted in Microsoft’s win for a US$10 billion cloud computing contract with the Pentagon.
Daniel Liu, Canalys research analyst said this strategy of balancing providers creates a “huge opportunity” for channel partners to provide relevant services such as consulting, migration, integration and management over multiple platforms.
“The channel is becoming a new catalyst for continued growth for hyperscale cloud service providers, particularly as competition intensifies,” Liu said.
Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys added that success in the current market is reliant on the alliances established by cloud providers and the relationships within the channel.
“Microsoft has built new partnerships with Oracle, VMware and most recently SAP, which give it greater credibility with enterprises as core applications are migrated to the cloud,” Edwards said.
Google Cloud is another enterprise capitalising on the channel to find success with the cloud, the analysis noted.
It managed to achieve this by a combination of narrowing down its offers to target specific applications and verticals and investing into its internal sales and partner resources to result in new cloud data centre regions.
“The largest system integrators are investing in partnerships and building business practices with all three of the top cloud providers – AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft and more recently Google Cloud – recognising that their customers want support across all the major platforms. Other channel partners are increasingly doing the same,” Edwards added.
Of the major players in Q3 2019 of AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, Canalys stated AWS was the number one platform for market share at 32.6 per cent.
AWS' dominance is also expected to continue in the near future with the launch of its Outposts server by the end of 2019, with the research calling it a “powerful weapon” towards enterprise awareness in 2020, and partner attention.
Following AWS was Microsoft Azure at 16.9 per cent and then Google Cloud at 6.9 per cent.