In a recent post, we discussed the new set of competencies required by vendors to thrive in the Cloud Era, among them strong sales and marketing, technical and channel support and new capabilities in Provisioning and Data Center Management. Using this embedded and pre-configured approach, vendors can vastly increase their reach by having a point of sale on virtually any website on the internet and be connected (theoretically) through any device connected to the Internet; the kind of geometric growth potential everyone is looking for through network effects. Having a point of sale on all company, partner and customer websites, Facebook, linked-In, Amazon, etc. would be a good place to start.
We have also written about the squeeze on SMB Cloud Channel Partners and there is increasing pressure on them to drive revenue through provisioning, customization, and integration – in many cases Cloudplace may be a good jump off point for those value added services.
One of the things Cloudplace talks about Empowerment rather than Enablement; the difference being that they empower the channel by giving them an agnostic choice of applications and access to immediate revenue opportunities rather than enabling them with tools to go down a vendor-specific path. We think this allows more choice and more time for the partners to choose their Cloud path and be able to quickly upgrade existing customers to new offers, especially MS Office365, which we expect to lift off next year.
We like that cloudplace is taking a different approach in the market by giving SMB channels a little more choice and less complexity in choosing and testing SaaS applications without making big commitments on the front-end. And we think the timing is very good this kind of start-up.