One of the early promises of software-as-a-service and cloud computing was that it would allow start-ups to directly market their Web services while skipping the expensive, lengthy process of creating an ecosystem of partners and resellers. Cloud providers thought, "We can directly reach these people, so we don't need to invest in other channels outside of our brand," says Tiffani Bova, a Gartner Inc. analyst.
But since cloud computing is still more in the hype stage than the actual deployment stage, vendors have slowly begun to accept that "a single sales strategy will only get you so far," Bova says. That has resulted in three out of the four largest cloud computing vendors taking major steps in recent months to attract partners to help them market and sell their services.
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