The number of resellers in the channel who believe they have an excellent understanding of the cloud is more than triple what is was last year, according to a study by TalkTalk Business.
The channel cloud survey conducted by the operator reveals that 48 per cent of respondents are completely confident when it comes to hosted technology, compared to only 14 per cent in 2011. In addition, fear and uncertainty towards the cloud has almost halved, with figures dropping from 20 per cent last year to just 11 per cent now.
Andy Hollingworth, Director of Partners at TalkTalk Business, said on the findings: "It's fantastic to see this new found assurance in the channel. We believe it's been brought about by the improved understanding of what makes hosted applications effective. Half of those polled agreed that business grade connectivity is the most important component of any hosted solution."
Despite partner's knowledge, the shared perception across the channel is that end-users are becoming increasingly confused by cloud computing. 72 per cent of respondents had clients with security concerns, 74 per cent had those with downtime worries and 83 per cent had decision makers who were generally confused. This is compared to 36 per cent, 22 per cent and only 33 per cent respectively in 2011.
Hollingworth added: "Many resellers are apprehensive about taking the plunge and introducing hosted products into their portfolio. Although their own understanding is often greatly improved, many see a risk in selling a proposition which is still so misunderstood by customers.
"VARS should turn to their suppliers for support in educating their client base. 41 per cent of those who do offer hosted solutions agree that it has become one of the biggest revenue drivers for their business, highlighting that this really is an opportunity not to be missed."
83 per cent of respondents agreed that hosted products are the biggest opportunity for future growth of their businesses and 71 per cent believed hosted products would see the biggest demand, despite any lack of understanding.
Hollingworth noted: "It's impossible to ignore the potential of hosted products and, to that effect, we have just launched a whole portfolio of hosted products. At our ‘Hosting: The Future of Business Grade Communications' seminar, we introduced attendees to a hosted contact centre, a unified communications service, a call recording application and a data storage facility. We were delighted with the positive response and anticipate this collection will make a real impact in the market."
"Customers require more from a UC distributor than simply product stocking and shipping. They want a distributor that helps to drive innovation as a technology enabler."
Steve Harris, Managing Director, VCOMM