EDGE360 recently reached out to David McNicholas, Director, US Strategic Business Development for Comstor US, and asked him to share his thoughts on the biggest trends he saw in 2014 in terms of the value added reseller (VAR) space and the managed services space, as well as his predictions for 2015 or beyond in these same areas.
According to McNicholas, a thought leader in Comstor’s partner space, most VARs have not figured out how to bring cloud to the executive suite, which is where more than 85 percent of all of the budgets and decisions live. Moreover, in what he considers most surprising as he looks back at the year, is that roughly 10-20 percent of VARs have voiced little interest in pursuing cloud or managed services and plan to stay the current selling course of gear / project work.
McNicholas also shared what he believes will gain the most traction in 2015 in the VAR space:
- VARs are much more interested in transforming their sales force to be able to show up in and sell in the executive suite as evidenced by the significant increase in business competence training and business enablement investments.
- VARs are starting to realize they need technology BUSINESS impact specialists – the Technical Sales Engineer of the new millennium, if you will, is a business specialist not a technology specialist.
- VARs are talking about hybrid cloud and representing their direction as such to their customers.
If you have read our recent posts from Geoff Fancher, Senior Vice President, Comstor US, on managed services, you know that VARs need to be in this space if they want to succeed. McNicholas agrees, and shared his predictions for managed services.
His top three predictions for managed services include:
- Most VARs will realize they need white-label managed services or some sort of partnership because of:
- Time to market
- High Risk
- VARs will struggle to bring on and sell managed services because understanding how to compensate managed services is still a big challenge for them.
- VARs will realize they need to pick specific areas of specialization to be effective and relevant.
McNicholas’ predictions shed light on the fact that, as he says, “VARs are very unaware of how complex and expensive it is to stand up a managed services practice.” He said that for the most part, VARs have not figured out what they want to be in this rapidly evolving world of cloud and managed services. A first step, according to McNicholas, is to be able to “crisply” answer the question, “Why will you be in business in 5 years?”
Next year promises to be filled with more of the same – rapidly evolving technology, morphing business trends and ways of doing work and technology disrupters. What do you see on the horizon that could change the way VARs approach business?
To read more thought leadership, check out EDGE360’s Thoughts from the EDGE.