AWS, Microsoft and Google grew their cloud infrastructure revenues by 43 percent, 93 percent and 74 percent respectively in Q1, year on year, as the overall market rose by 42 percent to $11.4 billion, Canalys said.
But the big three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth,
Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the next phase of cloud adoption means that they are looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and to do that they need the channel.
Big cloud providers, AWS and Google have not come from an enterprise IT background so they are starting to mature their partner programmes and channel engagements.
They are looking to focus on that more because they recognise that the channel has those relationships with customers.
Canalys thinks the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.
Canalys pegged AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales at over $3.5 billion but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel, said Ball, who argued that the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.
Ball said that the channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and will do so.
Cloud is another choice for customers in terms of how they operate their IT environments and, for sure, it’s a concern for channel partners. Some partners have been affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.