Monday, 16 January 2012 02:56

Clouds over EMEA change the climate for networking


The rapid adoption of cloud solutions will transform the traditional networking channel landscape in countries of the EMEA region -  Europe, the Middle East and Africa - as the market is fuelled by new technologies, changing customer demands, an alternate vendor landscape, and an uncertain regional economy.

That's the view of research and market analysis firm, IDC, which says in its latest report on the region that the "cloud concept," which covers shared access to virtualised resources over the Internet while data and software are stored on servers, is becoming 'more important for organisations.'

"The broad interest in cloud computing is understandable, considering that it enables IT organisations to become more cost-efficient and agile '” for example, by centralising their applications, servers, data, and storage resources, and dynamically moving their resources, or virtual machines," said Sylvia Wünsche, research analyst, European telecommunications and networking for IDC.

According to Wünsche, with cloud adoption '” private, public, or hybrid '” significantly growing, IDC see that major vendors in EMEA are rolling out cloud enablement programs and initiatives for their channel partners 'where they can choose to act as cloud resellers, cloud builders, and cloud service providers '” for example, Cisco's Cloud Partner Program (CPP).'

IDC makes the point that many vendors, including Cisco and HP Networking, further announced new or enhanced partner certifications (cloud architect certification) or specialisation programs in 2011, and it believes this trend will continue. 'The focus on partner competency is essential in a cloud economy, which is fuelled by high customer requirements for skilled and experienced partners that can easily deploy cloud-based solutions in IT environments,' Wünsche says.

'We believe the IT industry is going through a significant transformation. IT is increasingly being delivered as a service rather than in the form of capital expenditure on physical assets. Cloud computing fuels this and impacts the traditional channel landscape. Within the overall partner ecosystem we see new channel players such as cloud service aggregators (CSAs), including CloudBroker, evolving that gather services from multiple vendors and deliver them in a bundle to enterprises.'

IDC also stresses that service providers (SPs) are well positioned to gain a significant share in the emerging cloud service value chain. 'The role of (cloud) service providers will grow as these partners are high-volume consumers of infrastructure, technology development partners, and market influencers. The CSA model will further evolve and challenge distributors to align their offerings to remain competitive,' Wünsche concludes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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