"Where our channel partners have a tremendous opportunity in the storage space is to facilitate this workload centric conversation with customers. Help them to understand the characteristics of their application and make an appropriate choice about the storage technology that best suits their need. The reality is that off-premise is not always a good solution and neither is a "one-size-fi ts-all" storage platform. A best-of-breed approach, matched to specifi c objectives, will always be a better technology choice. Our channel partners are really well placed to elevate the discussion beyond the storage platform and take an application workload centric view of the customer's landscape."
Additionally, he said partners need to get up-close-and-personal with customers and position this skill as a key differentiator.
"The resellers that are going to make a difference in our industry are the ones who are getting really, really close to their customers to understand what their customers need. Customers are faced with this massive amount of disruption and they don't quite know how to deal with it; they don't quite know what technologies they need, what Cloud platforms they need and it's a real bit of a mess for them and they've got to try and pull this thing together. That's one area where our resellers can really have an impact in our industry."
Certainly, there's a golden opportunity (and responsibility) for partners to educate customers about an appropriate storage strategy and how and when a Cloud approach makes sense, added Infront Systems' King. He said there is a tendency to jump into the game without full knowledge, unaware of the repercussions.
"In Australia, customers are quite willing to just launch into a Cloud conversation without really understanding the risks or having any backstop when it comes to expertise in the market."
More importantly, the partner needs to take a level headed and responsible approach -- and help customers sift through the hype.
"Fail to plan/plan to fail. It's a classic scenario, but so many people are just caught up in the hype. And I love Cloud. I think Cloud has enormous potential where it has enormous potential, same as I love all fl ash array where all fl ash array makes sense. And I love hyper -- I don't care what the technology is as long is it's the right fit. But we are caught up in this model of 'just because it's new, it's got to be better.'"
Complicating matters is the lack of storage skills at the partner level, added Fusion Systems (part of Distribution Central), technical manager, ANZ, Richard Denyer.
"The traditional 'pet' that we've been talking about was always designed to scale upwards. To make it go faster you've made the box bigger. You put more memory in it. You put more storage behind it. The thing with all hyper scale systems is they're all designed to scale horizontally. So it's very diffi cult for someone just to take an application and put it in the Cloud," Denyer said.
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