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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
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News & Articles

August 2, 2012 |

CompTIA Shares Research on Cloud and Channel Opportunities at Breakaway 2012

Research shows that cloud services are growing within the channel, and opportunities to consult and integrate are on the rise. By Rich Freeman

Research shows that cloud services are growing within the channel, and opportunities to consult and integrate are on the rise.

By Rich Freeman

As everyone in the channel is all too aware, cloud computing is a constant topic of speculation these days. So it was a refreshing change of pace that CompTIA chose to open day three of its 2012 Breakaway conference in Las Vegas, Nev., with cold hard facts instead.

In a morning presentation on the state of the channel by members of CompTIA’s research team, speakers revealed that while most partners remain apprehensive about what the cloud will ultimately mean for themselves and their customers, some 70 percent are selling cloud solutions of one kind or another just the same.

Many partners are pleased with the results they’re seeing too. In fact, 40 percent of U.S. technology providers with an existing cloud practice expect it to grow 15 percent or more in the next 12 months, according to Carolyn April, director of industry analysis at CompTIA.

“There’s a lot of opportunity out there for the channel,” she observed.

One of the biggest such opportunities at present, according to CompTIA data, is presales consulting. “That’s where the dollars are,” April said. 56 percent of U.S. businesses are currently either investigating or evaluating cloud-based solutions, she noted, and they’re hungry for input from trusted technology advisers. Integration and vertical industry customization of cloud-based applications are other strong sources of service revenues, April added.

Of course, cloud computing isn’t the IT industry’s only growth market. According to director of technology analysis Seth Robinson, there’s plenty of upside for sellers of unified communication, collaboration, and video conferencing systems as well. Adoption of all three solutions remains relatively low, he stated, due mostly to equally low levels of end user familiarity and comfort with them. That provides an opening for technology firms equipped to both implement those products and teach employees how to use them. “Companies are wanting people to come in and not just sell a tool but provide education,” Robinson said.

Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s vice president of research, identified digital signage as another significant opportunity for resellers, especially those with customers in the retail industry. About one in three retailers already use computer-powered signs to display everything from promotional announcements and videos to current inventory figures and product availability dates, he said, and more plan to join them soon. That has increasing numbers of channel partners adding digital signage to their service lineup. “We do see a lot more solution providers moving into that space,” Herbert reported.

Reseller participation in partner programs is another frequent topic of CompTIA research, and the news on that front was mostly positive for vendors: over two thirds of channel pros are satisfied or very satisfied with the programs they currently belong to, according to CompTIA data, and 43 percent say their participation in partner programs is rising. As it is, April noted, partners already belong to eight programs each on average, with 14 percent of firms juggling a whopping 15 memberships or more. Music to the ears of any partner program manager in her audience.

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