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Nitin Mishra (Global) - Partner Ecosystems: Shaping the Future of Cloud Computing Part 2

What is a ‘partner ecosystem'?

There hasn't been much change in the concept of "ecosystem" since Webster's first defined it in 1935.

However, what has changed dramatically over the years is our understanding of the potential that such a concept represents when applied to traditional business concepts of partnering.

What determines the health and success of an ecosystem is the interdependence of the members that form it. It is a highly-collaborative and complex-orchestrated community. When applied as part of a business strategy, an ecosystem creates a partnership environment where the combined strength of the group is far greater than those that can be realized by any individual organization.

We are seeing such an ecosystem develop in the cloud computing space, where cloud enablers and solution providers are hard at work collaborating to get their solutions and platforms ready for the wave of growth that's coming in the future.

So, what exactly is a partner ecosystem in the cloud computing space?

In simple words, it's like the marriage made in heaven and executed in the technology industry. In a partner ecosystem, various partner entities - like Cisco, NetApp, and VMware as we talked about in the above example - bring their technologies and products together and back this with their combined strengths in integration, technology consulting, services, sales and marketing.

The result is a win-win situation for all entities, and a-one-stop shop for customers, backed by a single SLA and a single point of support.

This trend of partner ecosystem in cloud computing has rendered obsolete the long-used concept of complete vertical integration coming from one organization. Today you have the product and technology players. Then there are experts in the areas of middleware, SI, and in the application space.

The benefits of such partner ecosystem are tremendous for clients. For instance, here is the simplification of delivery (for the customer) that happens in a collaborative environment.

Gone are the days where the complete vertical integration came from one organization. Today you have product and technology players, and experts in the areas of middleware, SI, and in the application space.

The Collective Advantage of Partner Ecosystem

ecosystemSource: NetApp

In India, companies like NetApp work closely with SIs, telcos and cloud aggregators who deliver cloud services. It assists their technical operations team to use its assets "in an efficient manner" so that they "deliver more by using less storage capacity". This is what it calls the "technical enablement". Beyond this NetApp works with the service provider's marketing team for demand generation. It executes joint marketing events for creating platforms to create demand generation for these services and even offers a development fund for service providers. And finally, it does a joint go-to-market with the service provider (from the sales perspective). Partners in the ecosystem may also bundle and cross-sell each other's offerings.

This concludes the second part of our four-part series on partner ecosystems in cloud computing. In the third and concluding part of this series, we will analyze the role of stakeholders in the cloud partner ecosystem and their accountability for making it a success.

By Nitin Mishra, vp product management & solutions engineering, Netmagic Solutions

- Read part 1

- Read part 3
- Read part 4

 

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