By Albie Bester, General Manager, Pamoja
There is little doubt that opportunity exists in the Cloud services space, considered one of the fastest growing areas of ICT. However, ISPs and traditional system integrators have their work cut out in terms of having to deploy resources and customise the environment to relevant standards to offer Cloud services. This is where an experienced, equipped and knowledgeable partner can make all the difference.
The simple fact is that the alignment of the business to deliver services and solutions that are not construed as being traditional to your model requires help from the right partner – a partner that can help with go-to-market strategies and equipping sales teams with the necessary knowledge and guidance.
It is important to note that we are not only talking about providing solutions, about world-class platforms to give companies a fighting chance. We are talking about the adoption of an approach that, coupled with the technology, will offer companies serious advantage!
Pamoja has conceptualised and introduced the Pamoja Wholesale Cloud model to help clients switch on the cloud with minimal effort and risk. The company has made all the CAPEX investments, which significantly reduces the channel partners’ risk exposure.
It is a channel-only strategy based on helping to position system integrators and ISPs at the forefront of Cloud service delivery.
Channelling money flow
Great, so now you have access to wholesale Cloud services and business stakeholders are asking the question “Show us the money!”
The golden rule of the Cloud’s success is volumes and bundles. To achieve this and cement it down in business, there are a number of questions that have to be asked and answered.
How do you entice customers to engage in a true business Cloud platform? How do you enable the client to consume business services that will in the end add to their business success and providing so much value making clients customers for life? How do you make sure clients are comfortable with the Cloud?
The answer lies in providing a one-stop Cloud business platform with bundles allowing the client to scale as their business grows but also their confidence in Cloud services.
We work with our channel partners to put together “sticky” bundles and solutions offering their clients true Cloud value. The aim is to increase revenue for our channel partners in their traditional product offerings by bundling it with Cloud solutions, thereby adding new revenue channels and value added services for clients.
Our channel partners in the African market continue to experience a surge in interest in Cloud services. The drivers range from organisations responding to the global interest around Cloud computing to those who look at driving business value from IT but cannot afford to deploy and operate all the systems they require.
At the base level SME’s are looking for quality email, intranet and accounting services. They are prepared to pay for quality. A basic Cloud based accounting services at below R150.00 per user per month is in high demand
Making the cloud cycle work
It is critical to consider whether the partner you are aligning with has a credible plan of action and whether or not this plan includes critical commercial success factors – including experience in sales and marketing of Cloud services.
We cannot over-emphasize the importance of understanding the pitfalls associated with the introduction of new, and sometimes foreign, solutions into a sales team’s portfolio.
This is where dedicated service teams, market knowledge and experience, as well as technical capability comes into play.