Cloud services, without question, are a good thing for businesses of all sizes. But are they good for resellers?
I think the jury's still out on that one. Given comments this week about Microsoft and Kaseya, the channel is in for a rough ride.
Kaseya's launch of its first software as a service (SaaS) through Ingram Micro gave some smaller resellers a nasty surprise.
When a software vendor releases its products as a service it will have a major impact on the market because the vendor can define how the service is consumed by the customer - and how much they pay for it.
So resellers who have bought software and used it to roll out a range of services - in Kaseya's case, splitting managed service into tiers - all of a sudden find the vendor selling the service directly at a price below their cost price.
While Kaseya may want its resellers to use its licences in only one manner, its SaaS can effectively help the vendor enforce that particular usage.
And of course there's that small problem of a vendor selling its SaaS to customers direct.
In more advanced markets Microsoft resellers have watched the vendor's sales teams poach their own customers with the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which includes Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications and Office Live Meeting.
Whether Microsoft proves more sensitive to the channel in Australia is yet to be seen. But now the country's largest telco has entered the fray, the competition has jumped up a notch.
Last weekend, the CEO of one small 25-person company told me he had decided to move his phones to Telstra after having a poor experience with Vodafone.
Telstra then called him up and offered him BPOS plus hosted Microsoft Office and allegedly dropped the price to swing him from his current hosted service provider.
The CEO was very happy that his fixed phone, mobile phone, internet, productivity software and communications software all arrived on the one bill. "It's fantastic," he said.
I'll be interested to see his response in three months time when he needs customer service from Telstra to fix an application or find data.
Telstra may be an enormous sales machine with a customer list the size of the country, but its reputation for poor service is well known.
Then add the reported confusion within Microsoft UK where the SPLA, BPOS and on-premise licensing divisions are stealing each other's customers. It's a scenario that has to play out within vendors around the world.
What do you think? Are cloud services a threat to the reseller channel?
Issue: 315 | May 2013
Access CRN's extensive online resources including; email bulletins, community discussions and unique online news.
Processing registration... Please wait.
This process can take up to a minute to complete.
A confirmation email has been sent to your email address - SUPPLIED GOES EMAIL HERE. Please click on the link in the email to verify your email address. You need to verify your email before you can log on to the CRN website or start posting comments on articles.
If you do not receive your confirmation email within the next few minutes, it may be because the email has been captured by a junk mail filter. Please ensure you add the domain '@crn.com.au' to your white-listed senders.