A few years ago IT started with the delivery of cloud applications of all type from major vendors to offer their own cloud solutions. Nothing strange there but a new conversation of how sales work started in IT transforming it and continuing to transform it.
Let me give you an example
When Microsoft released BPOS it was for the first time something offered for critical applications for end user level, directly licensed from a portal not necessary going through the traditional channel: vendor, distribution, reseller VAR or LAR. I remember the hard conversations that started then with the vendors. And what Microsoft does is followed by others, surely enough today the sales channel has been affected and in order not to lose the selling power of partners vendors are corresponding back with fees if they influence a sale, but the transaction happens directly with the vendor.
Apple has been selling hardware and software directly, Google has been selling its solutions directly, Microsoft sales the Office 365 and new Surface tablet directly, VMware launches new sales programs for its tokens that again is controlled and managed directly by clients, Amazon sales services directly.
I will not be surprised if suddenly HP, IBM start selling directly.
Distributors have compiled smaller cloud players on their portfolio to continue serving the resellers options to be able to strategize offering solutions. Resellers are thinking what to do and what to become.
In my opinion is the end of the VAR and LAR as we know them.
Resellers have to become solutions advisors, maximize IT services of all kinds around technologies that they used to sell or become strategic IT thought leaders to help clients as consultants
Of course others are entering the game with no transformation needed full refurbishment need so they have an advantage. More smaller startups are modeling their business by collecting the influence fees pushing the vendors direct offerings.
Many startups designing their own products skip the channel altogether
Obviously the traditional channel will not disappear right away but it’s revenue streams are rapidly changing and without adaptation there will be no survivor option.
Jobs will have to transform or be eliminated, from the traditional sales person to the manage service professional. Even the CIO responsibilities will change as IT will be delivered differently.
Now is time for the bet, where do you want to be as IT professional to ensure continuity to your skills.