With the end-of-summer holiday season well behind us the events, webinars and inbox is once again flooded with talk of everything cloud. Earlier this month I had the privilege of speaking at this year’s ITExpo West. While I’ll take any excuse to spend some time in Austin and survey barbeque joint after joint, the chance to get in front of a large group of folks who are looking deeply into cloud service brokerage made it a great couple days.
The room on the second day of the three day event was full of people either looking to be a broker themselves or those interested in finding an organization that can broker cloud services to them and their customers. During the conversation, the format was great with three people up front taking questions from the people in the room, I was taken-a-back when question after question lined up remarkably well with what people like Deb Oswald at IDC and Darryl Plummer at Gartner have been blogging, tweeting and speaking about for a number of years now.
Those looking for an organization that could broker cloud solutions to them and their customers again and again talked about needing a trusted advisor. These organizations need someone that will bring to them quality solutions that would make their organization / customers more productive, at a fair price. When problems come up, they want to know the phone will get answered and the issue will get resolved quickly.
For those looking to become a broker of cloud services, time and again the conversation quickly swung back to what is the real value you have with your customers. Everyone agreed it was not the servers, software, or other stuff that litter their offices but the relationship they have with their customers. Providing the expertise, the unified billing, the simple and clean experience for accessing IT solutions and ultimately the “one throat to choke” has always been the value these organizations have provided to corporate customers. Focusing on that aspect then makes the idea of brokering cloud solutions a natural and necessary progression from reselling PCs and loading shrink-wrap software on blades.
Austin is a great place for any event; ITExpo was a lot of fun this year with people coming up to the stage at the end and conversations continuing in the hallway for 30 minutes after. Add to that a different barbeque place each night and I got to say I’m glad that we are past the end-of-summer holiday season. Sigma’s EVOLVE event is next and I am looking forward to getting the perspective on cloud service brokerage from a broad set of leading service providers, along with some amazing Caribbean / Cuban dishes.
Director, Product Management, Sigma