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Cloud Strategies Spotlight

Posted on 21/02/2019

Mark Curtis-Wood, Head of Network Services, assesses the major trends in the multi-cloud landscape.

Inevitably the continued shift towards the cloud means more people want multiple services off-premise. In terms of trends it’s about following the current journey we are all on where telephony and IT services are available from the cloud - and how people further develop that with their desktop, Outlook and email. It’s about following the natural progression such as call recording and cyber security etc and the whole eco system that is built around it.

What is the right approach for Channel Partners to get involved in multi-cloud?
For me it’s about picking the right vendors that are already involved in those multiple services because there’s a danger everything becomes too fragmented by choosing too many individual providers. Ideally you want everything to be under one roof or as close to that as possible by choosing strategically to cover as much of the eco system as possible.

Are vendors trying to combat customers using this strategy with volume discounts still. Is this the major drawback of going down the multi-cloud route?
Inevitably there will be commoditisation of certain aspects of the cloud, like we’ve seen elsewhere. In the last 18 months there’s been a bit of a race to the bottom in terms of hosted seats but it’s about delivering additional value and benefits such as analytics etc. Some vendors are offering discounts to get them into one particular product set but I don’t think it’s a major drawback of going down the multi-cloud route.

For partners, is gaining expertise in multiple platforms a real challenge?
I think it is a real challenge because if you’ve got multiple platforms it’s inevitably a lot harder to link your own systems to them and provision your services. Ideally one pane of glass is the answer. Managing lots of different portals is always going to be a challenge to the adoption of any strategy.

What is coming down the pipeline in terms of enhancements and features from the vendors?
We are seeing more of the core providers moving into other areas - such as a connectivity provider moving into desktop cloud services and mobile device management. Using one provider is always going to be better than finding individual relationships. I think we are already starting to see this accelerate from the established players, overlaying more services that can be accessed via one umbrella and one pane of glass.

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