By Chuck Smith, senior director, Worldwide Channels, Xerox

Vegas. There’s no city like it, and this week it’s all about channel partners and the cloud. There are thousands of value-added resellers attending a trifecta of Vegas events: The VMware Partner Exchange, Cisco Cloud Connections and The Channel Partner Conference & Expo.

Could there be a better city for such a gathering? It’s a perfect match:

Vegas: Bright, loud, overwhelming, exciting, befuddling

Cloud services: Ditto.

Vegas: Safe, unsafe, high-risk, high reward

Cloud services: Ditto.

Vegas: Bigger than life, big-time opportunities

Cloud services: Ditto.

Now, let’s talk Vegas and what it can teach us about the channel, the VAR and the cloud:

Don’t roll the dice. No-name cloud providers promising jackpots and pots of gold are a dime a dozen. They’re not worth the gamble. Stick with trusted industry leaders and proven track records.

It may glitter, but it’s not gold. Cut through the glitz and glitter of proud cloud proclamations by asking questions that prove cloud sophistication. For example, when I say Xerox has 18 data centers worldwide, 25 global centers of excellence, 140,000 employees, plus an ITO service track record of more than 20 years, we show the gold.

Pay $300 for a $35,000 Vegas hotel suite? It’s a real suite and you can’t touch the doorknob for $300, but the scenario does point to dollars and dynamics of cloud services. What once was available only to The Big Company is now available to smaller companies. The cloud levels the playing field and gives smaller companies superior technologies, and the channel partners own the room key.

Avoid the slot machine. The cloud is not a slot machine gone wild, but the cloud is all about recurring revenue that’s guaranteed. It’s not a gamble.

Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Sometimes it’s just better to stop what you’re doing and go home. Channel partner companies already on the cloud train may be sensing a wrong turn. If so, get off at the next stop. It’s never too late to rest up and start over.

Don’t walk alone. When in a strange town, never walk alone. As cloud providers, technologists and business people, it’s just better together. We all need partners and perspectives, insights and advice. I believe collaboration is the key to real innovation. For Xerox and its channel partners.

 

Xerox’s Chuck Smith does his homework so he doesn’t have to gamble – with anyone’s money.