During Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, Gartner VP Tiffani Bova told VARs and MSPs that we're reached the cloud computing inflection point. The world isn't ending. The sky isn't falling. But the hype around cloud obscures the very real sea-change occurring for VARs and MSPs, according to Bova.

"The transition between eras is never smooth but cloud is your future," Bova told roughly 275 VARs and MSPs attending the Ingram summit today in Phoenix, Ariz.

During her keynote Bova mentioned:

  • Vertically focused service providers -- especially those in micro verticals -- will thrive.

  • MSPs and VARs should partner up with small ISVs in vertical markets to succeed in the cloud.

  • Channel partners should select vendors that demonstrate a grasp of the new reality. Those vendors should understand how to manage the shift from product to service; new pricing models; and what may or may not cannibalize on-premises products.

  • The top CIO priority for this year is all about growth, attracting new customers and business agility. In many cases, cloud solutions can deliver on those goals.

  • Not all outsourcing providers will morph and adapt. "Outsourcing does not equal cloud; outsourcing does not equal managed services," said Bova.

  • On the SMB front, "they're looking to spend on cloud," said Bova. "If you don't sell the license or don't sell the server it doesn't mean there isn't something for you to do."

  • Bova said MSPs will move to cloud broker and cloud aggregator models.

  • By 2015, Gartner thinks cloud services brokerages will be the single largest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing. Virtualization would not have happened without the channel.

Bova didn't raise any fear, uncertainty or doubt (FUD) about the cloud. She also didn't paint it as an easy opportunity for VARs and MSPs. Instead, she delivered a balanced approach. Bova is right: We've reached a market inflection point. The cloud noise is too loud. But if you tune out the hype and really focus on the cloud opportunities you'll find them. The opportunities are real.

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