Getting customers on board with a recurring offer can work out great for resellers, but getting to that stage is all about managing expectations, according to a panel discussion hosted by Cisco distributor Westcon-Comstor.
The discussion, which took place at Comstor EDGE 2019, determined the channel is seeing a shift to the recurring offer model, but moving customers to it is all about managing expectations.
However, jumping into this change with a complete software as-a-service or a cloud offering is proving to be a normal expectation out of the channel, Marco Hermosura, practice lead for Cisco security at Westcon-Comstor said.
He recounted how various customers may want to shift their businesses entirely to cloud-based platforms after hearing how the technology has improved the operations of other businesses.
However, Hermosura said businesses willing to jump on cloud technology on a whim may not be considering their actual business needs and may not be ready to do so at all, so he instead suggested a hybrid model would be a better fit in these instances.
“There’s many examples of where you guys [resellers] would actually prove value in saying as advisors and consultants and say, 'Listen, don't listen to whatever the fad is; listen to your actual business needs and your requirements before you jump on the cloud wagon'.
“And I'm not saying that it is definitely moving towards that direction, right? But the challenges that I've seen in the industry is people who are not ready or not capable of actually going through that journey yet.”
Anthony Thompson, Cisco UC and collaboration architecture leader at Westcon-Comstor, agreed.
“Some customers want to jump straight there, but they need to be cautioned about jumping straight to cloud. I think it's a transition process,” he said.
“It's also, I think, a different sale, to a degree; there's a lot more thinking about the finance side of it in terms of opex/capex. Certainly, there's customers out there who are all on board because they love the flexibility.
“For the next few years, it will be hybrid. Parts of an organisation might adopt cloud early as the rest of it transitions. I think we've got to have those expectations.”
Jason Brouwers, managing director for commercial at Cisco added that “hybrid’s the key” when dealing with the expectations of customers in the near future, as he finds it rare to have a customer starting out a business that doesn’t have some form of data centre recovery available right from the beginning.
“You can you can walk up and you can sell them cloud, you can sell them all the current offers, you can do that quite easy, but most of them have got some form of data centre, recovery option, whatever it might be, they've got their infrastructure in place already,” he said.
“The keyword is transition. It'll be a hybrid environment first, as you transition that more to the goal, where it will be potentially or maybe not that for cloud or some portion of that as well over time,” he said.