Adam Wilkinson (APC by Schneider Electric); Naveen Shettar (Thomas Duryea Logicalis); Cam Wayland (Channel Dynamics); Chris Weber (Hewlett Packard Enterprise); James Henderson (ARN); Andrew Gillard (Mycom); Hafizah Osman (ARN); Nathan Vandenberg (Dimension Data); Louis Tague (Veritas); Simon Xistouris (AC3); Matthew Kates (Zerto); Richard Mitton (BigAir Group) and Nick Stranks (Ethan Group)
Driven by emerging technologies such as cloud, big data and software-defined networking, the future of the data centre is fast becoming a reality.
Consequently, vendor behaviour will fall into one of three categories - Protectors, Evolutionary Disrupters and Revolutionary Disrupters - as the pace of change increases across the industry.
But as the channel seeks to keep up, keep innovating and keep growing, where should partners place their bets?
"We're seeing a blurring of the lines within the data centre," Veritas Australia and New Zealand managing director, Louis Tague, said.
"Organisations at a global level are embarking on huge digital transformation change and Australia in particular has gone along that path at a rapid rate."
Today, Tague believes business leaders are challenged to move enterprises to the next level, creating both an opportunity and an imperative for digital transformation.
As a country, Australia has a history of early adoption through virtualisation and cloud, momentum which Tague believes is shifting towards digitalisation.
"We're ahead of the curve in terms of digital transformation," he added. "This is evident through the discussions we're having with enterprise and large government customers."
As new agendas continue to alter the landscapes of business, education, entertainment, and government, hybrid cloud is emerging as a critical enabler of digital transformation.
Chris Weber (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)
Specific to Australia, organisations are strongly moving in the direction of hybrid cloud, with a range of businesses already utilising one or two small applications or workloads.
"Our view is that the market shouldn't fight the rise of cloud, whether that be public or private," Hewlett Packard Enterprise general manager of technology services, Chris Weber, observed.
"We believe in embracing the change and providing customers with the option through a hybrid play. We aim to be the broker in the middle which allows the customer and the partner to choose depending on preference."
Hybrid cloud here to stay
Across the country, businesses are turning to hybrid cloud environments, shifting IT workloads out of the office into the data centre, subsequently creating greater demand for data centre services.
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