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EDITOR’S QUESTION: What are the opportunities for channel partners in migration of legacy applications to cloud?

EDITOR’S QUESTION: What are the opportunities for channel partners in migration of legacy applications to cloud?

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Channel partners that help enterprises migrate their legacy applications to the public and private cloud can reap numerous benefits, including increased revenue streams, improved customer relationships, improved efficiency and performance, building expertise in cloud migration, and positioning themselves as thought leaders in the industry. As cloud computing continues to gain traction, offering cloud migration services can be a valuable addition to any channel partner’s offerings. Executives from Kissflow, Mindware Group, Pure Storage responded.

Karthikeya Bhatt, Regional Channel Manager MEA at Kissflow

Although for many regional enterprises, the applications that are core to their business have been running effectively in private datacentres, they are resource intensive and often incompatible with new software. The resulting drain on IT manpower and budgets and constraints on innovation make even these mission-critical enterprises applications prime candidates for cloud migration. Doing so will enable large organisations to take advantage of the cost, scalability, and ease of management benefits offered by the cloud.

But migration of mission-critical systems is inherently fraught with challenges. For one, with these being core to business operations, the potential for downtime is an outsized risk. Then there are security concerns that must be navigated. It is little wonder then that enterprises in the region turn to their trusted technology partners to take ownership of these initiatives, thus presenting the channel with a significant opportunity.

Karthikeya Bhatt, Regional Channel Manager MEA at Kissflow

Of course, to maximise their margins on such projects, the channel partners must themselves endeavour to eliminate complexity – after all, there’s little profit to be made on a project that spans many months, demands the dedication of a large pool of qualified technical personnel, and has the potential to overrun due to unforeseen integration challenges.

This is why utilising low code platforms stands out as a simple yet powerful solution, enabling channel partners to capitalise on the enterprise cloud migration opportunity. Low code platforms from vendors such as Kissflow are themselves cloud-native and therefore lend themselves perfectly to the migration of even complex applications into cloud environments.

Rather than engaging with IT teams, channel partners can secure business user buy-in. These stakeholders, who are the actual end users of the applications, bring a wealth of knowledge about utilisation and desired functionality. This means that the cloud migrated applications can far surpass the features and usability of their legacy counterparts.

By enabling a more collaborative approach to cloud migration and new application development, low code platforms will enable partners to elevate their value creation and embed themselves deeper into client accounts.

Philippe Jarre, President Mindware Group

Many enterprises still rely on legacy applications that may not be compatible with cloud environments. That is where channel partners come in – by helping enterprises migrate their legacy applications to the public and private cloud, channel partners can reap numerous benefits.

Channel partners can help enterprises assess their existing applications and identify which ones are suitable for cloud migration. They can also help determine the right cloud platform, public or private based on the enterprise’s business requirements. This can help channel partners expand their offerings and increase revenue streams, while also positioning themselves as experts in cloud migration.

By offering migration services, channel partners can expand their offerings and increase revenue streams. By providing an additional service that meets the needs of their clients, they can generate more business and increase customer satisfaction. Additionally, offering cloud migration services can help channel partners stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Philippe Jarre, President Mindware Group

This expertise can then be leveraged to offer additional cloud services, such as cloud monitoring and management, which can further increase revenue streams.

By helping enterprises migrate their legacy applications to the cloud, channel partners can also improve the overall efficiency and performance of their clients’ IT infrastructure. Legacy applications can be slow, outdated, and prone to errors, which can lead to decreased productivity and increased costs. By migrating these applications to the cloud, enterprises can take advantage of the scalability and flexibility of cloud environments, resulting in improved performance and reduced costs.

Channel partners can offer training and support to enterprise IT teams to help them manage and maintain the migrated applications in the cloud. This can help channel partners build expertise in cloud migration and related services, leading to additional opportunities for other services and products.

In addition to the financial benefits, channel partners can also enjoy improved customer relationships. By assisting clients in modernising their IT infrastructure and achieving their business objectives, channel partners can build long-term relationships with their clients, increasing loyalty and repeat business. This can also lead to additional opportunities for upselling and cross-selling other services and products.

By helping enterprises migrate their legacy applications to the cloud, channel partners can position themselves as leaders in the industry. As more businesses turn to cloud computing, channel partners that have experience and expertise in cloud migration will be in high demand. By positioning themselves as experts in this area, channel partners can attract new clients and further expand their business.

Geoff Greenlaw, VP of Channel for EMEA, LATAM at Pure Storage

STaaS is a service focused consumption model for storage procurement that allows organisations to provision the capacity and performance they need on-premises, in the cloud, or any other combination, and pay for it on an as-a-service basis. STaaS is a great option for enterprises that need infrastructure to accommodate different workloads for short and longer-term projects without operational or cost penalties, so long as effective SLAs are put into place.

It removes much of the complexity and risk associated with data storage and reduces friction, costs and complications associated with sharing data across the enterprise. Crucially, STaaS does not require the CapEx outlay of traditional IT infrastructure.

Geoff Greenlaw, VP of Channel for EMEA, LATAM at Pure Storage

Not all STaaS offerings are created equal and partners need to look to for a true value-added service, as some vendors simply offer OpEx billing disguised as a service. This would be more like a lease, where products are deployed on a multi-year cycle and upgraded at the end as part of forklift upgrades. For channel partners to succeed they should offer solutions with guaranteed service levels and automated upgrades to meet performance and capacity guarantees at no additional cost.

Partners should also check if the STaaS provider is able to provide file and block access storage as well as fast file and object storage on the same hardware. Monitoring software is another plus as it gives customers an overview of the capacity utilisation and performance of the storage infrastructure on-premises and in the cloud.

Some partners that do not have a wealth of experience selling as-a-service solutions may see challenges in shifting from a CapEx orientation to selling service subscriptions. Such challenges might include a lengthier revenue collection timeframe, adapting quoting, invoicing systems, processes to subscription-oriented transactions, and adjusting the compensation models of their internal sales teams.

Partners also face the challenge of ensuring internal sales teams are trained to sell as-a-service, subscription, consumption-oriented solutions, a skillset that can be different from selling hardware, software, maintenance packages. Partners that want to participate in the growing as-a-service market should establish a formal transformation program to analyse and adopt the changes needed to internal skills, processes and technology.

Even partners that do not have aspirations to layer in a higher-level service wrapper will find that STaaS sales will drive more frequent contact with the customer and greater insight into customer challenges and opportunities to address them. The as-a-service model generates much higher frequency contact with the customer than would a traditional CapEx transaction.

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