30 décembre 2011

IBM Cloud Channel - My 6 plus 6 predictions for 2012 - Loic Simon - Club Cloud des Partenaires

A few weeks ago, I revisited [in french] my "Cloud Tsunami" predictions for 2011 [read initial english version here].

Now is a good time to think about next year and to deliver my 6 plus 6 predictions for IBM's [french] Cloud Channel in 2012.
[you may also find this article in french in the Club Cloud des Partenaires' Blog]

2011 has been the Cloud "Coming Out" year for most major IBM Infrastructure Partners.
Pushed by vendors, customers and competition, most infrastructure integrators, distributors and managed service providers I'm dealing with have formalized their Cloud Strategy and/or have started executing it in 2011.

2012 will still NOT be the year when...
  1. IBM and its partners won't need dedicated Cloud experts anymore, to (a) assist/replace their sales people and their arthictects and to (b) let those continue to conduct their more traditional business.
  2. Compensation plans will really push the sales teams to favor "as a service" Cloud solutions in their proposals.
  3. Managed Service Providers will massively turn into real "Cloud Infrastructure Providers".
  4. Cloud pure players will force all distributors, regional integrators and resellers to start migrating to a real Cloud business model.
  5. IBM Software will really push its partners to leverage its infrastructure software offerings in an as a service [PaaS, SaaS] mode, beyond promoting the ASL contract.
  6. IBM Global Technology Services' major route to market for Cloud services like SmartCloud Enterprise or SmartCloud Application Services will definitely be the Channel.
On the other hand, in 2012,
  1. SaaS preeminence among ISVs will (a) help cloud resellers and integrators bloom and (b) push incumbent actors to include more and more SaaS solutions in their offerings portfolio.
  2. Major infrastructure integrators will "buy" the Cloud skills they lack to accelerate their business model migration towards Cloud...  while struggling to not cannibalize their existing activities.
  3. All distributors and VADs will provide (a) foundation products and services for Cloud Builders, (b) IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services for Cloud brokers, playing themselves a growing Cloud aggregator role. Beyond commodity services, some VADs will test the listing of SaaS business solutions, acting as a distribution platform for LOB oriented SaaS ISVs.
  4. All IBM new products and services will have a Cloud dimension [inside SmartCloud Foundation, SmartCloud Services or SmartCloud Solutions]. Servers and storage offerings will be redesigned and rebranded with "Cloud".
  5. The word "Cloud" will gradually replace "Virtualization", "Consolidation", "Hosting"... in the opportunities that are shared - through their common CRM - between IBM and its partners.
  6. IBM Software will deploy "SmartCloud Solutions" coming in majority from its recent acquisitions. These Social Business, Smarter Commerce, Smarter City, Business Analytics, Big Data... solutions help customers "reinvent business" by putting the cloud "under the hood" of key business applications. Luckily, most of them will be packaged to be leveraged by business integrators.
So, what are YOUR predictions for the IBM Cloud Channel in 2012? 

Loic Simon
Business Development - Cloud Partners - IBM Global Business Partners
+33 6 76 75 40 71