ACG Research

ACG Research
We focus on the Why before the What

Friday, August 26, 2011

Partner-to-Partner Partnering

The next wave of managed services

Partner-to-partner partnering is gaining momentum and VARs and SIs are recognizing that it is an excellent opportunity for them to change their business models to add services to their portfolios. They also recognized how important the channel is to extend their reach to customers that they do not have today and most likely will never be their customers as most SMBs depend on the local VAR or system integrator for IT outsourced support.

Factors influencing the demise of the old business models:
  • Cloud- and network-based investments are growing while the on premise or equipment sold on site is declining.
  • Enterprises and SMBs are migrating to cloud to decrease costs and improve productivity associated with their IT investments.
  • Partners traditionally selling hardware, software and integration need new models to take advantage of these trends.
Vendors and service providers are responding to the trend and creating programs to extend their reach. Companies such as Momentum have launched a new partner program targeting value added resellers and managed services providers.

Presidio Networked Solutions has been profiled for success in its selection of partners to create value with white label programs.

MSP partners such as YouSendIt engaged ACG Research to create their channel plans and strategy. Their partner program represents referral, resell, affiliate and custom ISP partner programs.

Even distributors are reinventing their organizations to enable their assets, VARs and SIs to migrate to cloud offers. Distributors are feeling the pain of the pick-pack and ship revenue decreases. They recognize that vendors, a huge source of revenue (their revenue source for the last 10 years) need to market to VARs and SIs or risk losing revenue as more customers demand new service offers.

Trade groups and organizations are recognizing the need to “educate” the industry. ACG Research recently kicked off and conducted several panels for Everything Channel’s Cloud Boot Camp 2011. Our analysts focused on change management strategies for VARs, SIs, MSPs and SPs to show them how to connect the opportunity for adding profitable services to the traditional VAR and SI mix. We focused on the following:


  • Migrate or lose customers to your competitors.
  • Alter your sales force to deliver incentives on services over product to gain annuity that is renewable.
  • No NOC, No Problem: establish partnerships with MSPs and SPs that increase your portfolios.
MSPs and SPs:
  • Increase your reach to inaccessible customers by creating programs to reach 200,000+ VARs and SIs.
  • Target not just your customers but the customers of your partners through programs that extend marketing through the partner to their installed base, identifying the cloud initiatives for enterprises and SMB.
Partners have to keep ahead of the next economic pressure that is changing the mindset of their customers by understanding the trends and knowing how their current assets can be leveraged to address these changes. Partner-to-partner partnering allows you to evolve with the changing markets and meet the demands made by enterprises and SMB. It’s either that or lose the customer.

To read more from Lauren Robinette, click here.

Lauren Robinette

Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Update on Photonic Integration

Photonic integration might be the most disruptive technology to hit the telecommunications market in a decade. Eve Griliches

In 2006 interest in the all-optical network was fading, and photonic integration was generating excitement and controversy in the industry.

The market traveled in two directions 1) photonic integration with coherent DSPs and 2) discrete components with coherent DSPs. Infinera is the only vendor that has a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) based system solution. The 10G economics of the PIC were disruptive, but Infinera included integrated OTN switching, which improved network efficiency.

Click here to download the PDF.

IP Networking: Building Value through Network Subscriber and Application Awareness

Network subscriber and application awareness are two ways that IP networking is being extended beyond Layer 2 switching and Layer 3 routing. This expanded networking functionality is being driven on the demand-side by service providers' need to differentiate their services from both competitors and among internal lines of business where service cannibalization is a serious problem; and on the supply-side where more flexible hardware architectures make it possible to combine transport, switching, routing, and DPI capabilities in the same system chassis.bine transport, switching, routing, and DPI capabilities in the same system chassis.

To read the complete article, click here. To read more from Michael Kennedy, click here.

Michael Kennedy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cloud Computing: A Primer

Because of the increased volume, complexity, interfaces and connectivity that require service providers and enterprises to architect, operate and manage networks very differently, many are moving to cloud computing, a term for any activities that involve delivering hosted services over the Internet. There are basically three types:
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Each of these services offers a different level of flexibility and control:

IaaS: Existing applications run a cloud; suppliers provide hardware; Physical or virtual servers

PaaS: Advantages include rapid development at low cost; provides environment and tools for creating new online applications; private or public deployment. Disadvantages include limits developers to providers programming languages and tools; risk of vendor lock-in.

SaaS: Advantages are free or paid for subscription; accessible from anywhere & facilitates collaborative working. A disadvantages is that generic applications not always suitable for everyone.

Cloud offers the following benefits:
  • Reduced Cost: Cloud technology is paid incrementally, saving organizations money.
  • Increased Storage: Organizations can store more data than on private computer systems.
  • Highly Automated: No longer do IT personnel need to worry about keeping software up to date.
  • Flexibility: Cloud computing offers much more flexibility than past computing methods.
  • More Mobility: Employees can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks.
  • Allows IT to Shift Focus: Organizations no longer have to worry about constant server updates and other computing issues; they are free to concentrate on innovation.
There are roadblocks with cloud:
  • Definition: If you ask four different people, you will get four different definitions of the cloud. This lack of agreement can be attributed to lack of standards or to the absence of a governing/regulating body.
  • Security Concerns: Information security is a prime concern of organizations because their confidential data is being hosted on third-party data centers.
  • Service Availability: Since the cloud-based model is not just confined to application delivery but also to the platform for computing services under the IaaS model, service availability becomes a concern.
  • Data Lock-In Concerns: In the case of cloud computing, most of the APIs are proprietary and lack standardization, which means applications for a particular cloud platform cannot be migrated to another. Similarly, customers cannot easily extract their data or programs from a provider's site and run it on another site.
Network architectures that build on optimization and consolidation are a key interest and increasingly, a requirement for all service providers. Cloud computing platforms enable enterprises to provision an infrastructure and add computing capacity on demand. This elasticity promotes rapid deployment of solutions and allows service providers to scale their infrastructure based on demand and, consequently, to improve time to market for new services.

Cloud computing is one of the fastest growing segments in the IT industry, and service providers are uniquely positioned to capitalize on it because they already have the size and depth to build scalable services. By assuming an end-to-end position (application to end user) in the cloud computing value chain, the service provider can improve and add significant quality of service to experiences. This network-based approach to service assurance can position service providers to capitalize on the software revenue market related to the use of the applications, a market that network providers have yet to fully explore and utilize.
  • Before adopting cloud, enterprises and service providers should consider the following:
  • How quickly should I migrate my network from legacy to IP?
  • What is my role in delivering cloud services? Which investments should I make?
  • When, and to what extent, should I integrate my mobile and fixed networks?
  • How can I collaborate with OTTs? Which programs should I implement?
  • What should I do about a structural separation of the business? Will this be mandated?
  • How do I monetize the huge growth in network traffic? Where do I need to invest?
With cloud computing the economic advantages are great: reduction of costs and increased productivity. The risks are minimal, especially as new systems and checks are continuously being designed and instituted. The question is not if but when your business needs to move to initiatives to take advantage of cloud computing trends.