This is the view of experts at Pamoja, a leading Cloud services and content aggregation business entity.
“Channel collaboration around Cloud services is in a very early stage of development within the broader Cloud cycle. Many IT service providers have yet to embrace the Cloud services model to the same extent as larger telecommunication companies and IT services businesses,”
“The issue is exacerbated by the fact that value added resellers and system integrators are projecting the Cloud as a competitor or a necessary nuisance. As the adoption of Cloud services grow in the market, these organisations will come to realise that the Cloud computing paradigm offers new business opportunities,”
Pamoja is focused on driving increased adoption of Cloud services, addressing traditional challenges and successfully replicating the Cloud services model for the benefit of operators throughout Africa.
Bester says that there are several components to successful Cloud service delivery and collaboration between partners is necessary in order to acquire these components.
“Some of these are quality services, quality access to the service, solutions that work for the specific market, clear business value proposition, easy provisioning and simple billing models. It is very seldom that one organisation can manage all of these at the same time. Partnerships between ISP’s/Telco’
As an increasingly competitive market segment complicated by a lack of technical skills sets in Africa, those wishing to set their mark on the Cloud Services area are advised to look seriously at alliances.
“I believe there have been several disastrous attempts at building Cloud businesses on the continent, mainly because of a lack of adequate resources and preparation,”
Driving Service delivery
While it is generally accepted that the ICT sector is driven by the quality of service delivery and competence of service providers, this is particularly true of the Cloud Services space. It is important to remember that partners will stake their reputation on services that they will be provided with – over promising and under-delivery will result in elimination in what is effectively a confined market.
As Bester explains, differentiation drives revenue and leaves the competition wanting.
The fact is that a partnership is really the only safeguard to ensuring collaboration between role players including support, sales, provisioning and billing. Operations requires solid experience and security of skills, while market ownership or relationship paves the way for the sales engine to deliver good returns and not wheel-spin for extended periods of time.
“The Cloud business model is more complex than it looks. When trying to expand the reach of one’s Cloud offerings the challenges compound. Partnerships do mean that you’ll have to share some of the pie with others, but it also reduces the risks involved with launching a Cloud business unit,” Bester advises.
Liza du Plessis
Liza du Plessis