First of all, the vibe was one of excitement, promise and possibilities. It was clear from listening to the user and partner communities and the media and industry analysts that, as far as cloud computing has progressed to this point, we’re really just getting going. Where we’re going was the topic of intense discussions, presentations, demonstrations and hallway confabs.
Many prospective customers, especially in the mid-market to smaller businesses, are still on sharp learning curves. The channel partners – their trusted providers – are eager to lead their customers to new computing models, and they’re evaluating prospective partners to hook up with. As far as vendors go, they’re in abundance; it’s like a frontier town sitting on a vein of gold.
Here is what I came away with from the event:
SMB User Community – Many have IT platforms that are reaching the end-of-life stage. They’re investigating how this Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) thing might be a viable or preferred alternative to investing in a technology refresh. They have many questions and concerns about data security and availability, network resilience and vendor viability. For some, regulatory compliance keeps them awake at night. They truly need reliable guidance and information during a turbulent time in the marketplace.
Channel Community – Potential resellers and partners are on the hunt for vendors they can work with and who will work with them. They are actively building out their services portfolios to better serve existing customers and expand their markets. The one big thing they want to know about a potential vendor partner is what sets them apart, what is their differentiator, why are they better than the rest. For them, too, data security and compliance are top of mind.
Vendor Community – The industry ecosystem is a rapidly expanding universe. Some are offering “a cloud solution” that may or may not actually be one but, for them, it’s cloud or bust. On the flip side, the degree of innovation and creativity that is evident is astounding. The options available to customers are both mind altering and overwhelming at the same time. It’s difficult to sort it all out.
In speaking with literally dozens of people on the Expo floor, the Peak 10 promise resonated exceptionally well. When it came to answering the question, “What makes you different?” four areas were particularly convincing:
- Industry-leading compliance program and an unshakeable commitment to security
- Best-in-breed infrastructure built upon the best products from partners such as Cisco, VMware and EMC
- Enterprise-class services accessible to mid-market customers through direct sales and an established channel partner program
- Fourteen years of accumulated technology and business experience as a dedicated infrastructure and cloud services provider and trusted partner
Having been with Peak 10 for more than a decade, it has been rewarding and fun to see the company steadily grow and expand. Even so, looking ahead we’re definitely in the right place and time to accelerate our growth and be there for our customers and with our channel partners for all the Cloud Expos to come.