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Leaving Las Vegas – and the classic VAR behind

Viva Las Vegas!

This week I write on departure from our Global Partner Conference (GPC) in Las Vegas. It is my last action before I drift into a long and recuperative sleep on the plane home to England (I hope!).  Each year it is amazing to gather all the latest feedback from our partners and reflect on the new trends and directions in the market.  It seems that this year, almost without exception, the conversations centered on the transformation of the classic reseller model to the hybrid of technology integrator plus Service Provider capability.  The marketplace, buying patterns and provision models are changing faster than I have ever seen in my IT career



The Partner becomes the Customer

The fascinating shift in the buyer/seller relationship is happening rapidly. End users are buying from the Cloud. The Cloud is delivered by Service Providers (many of them traditional VARS). And the IT vendors sell technology into the Service Provider.  Essentially this means that many of my classic reseller “Partners” of old are the future “Customers” for the IT vendor community.  For an old storage guy this means selling to end-user organisations will become less prominent and delivering scale-out solutions to the Service Providers becomes the new game in town.

Converged Infrastructure for Service Providers

The advent of the VAR now shifting to Cloud Service Provider also begs the question what is their role? Do they continue to be deeply capable technology companies/integrators, or do they need to become more pure-play solutions oriented?  The conversations I had in Vegas implied that, whilst there is a little confusion about this, the emphasis of the traditional VAR-come-Service Provider, needs to be more about the end user/customer relationship and solving the business problem, and less about technology.  In this scenario the IT vendor becomes the technology integrator or trusted infrastructure partner. 

HP is certainly well positioned for this with our Converged Infrastructure (Cloud, Server, Storage and Networking) capabilities: to provide the integrated infrastructure that allows the Service Provider to focus on the end user.  It also appears that other vendors are following HP with the converged play: Cisco and Lenovo in particular seem to be scrabbling to build out the end-to-end infrastructure portfolio needed to support the new style of IT.


And now sleep.  Although I shared some key highlights of my Las Vegas GPC week there are many stories that should remain untold.  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!  Catch up soon.

You can find me on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonHP if you wish to comment.



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