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Cloud Computing: Driving Partner Vertical Specialization

by Paul Solski
Founder, AIM International, AIM International

When businesses lacked the infrastructure to automate account keeping, customer service records or inventory tracking, partners could build a profitable business around selling, installing and maintaining these types of applications. However, today, unless it's a very small business, these basics are not enough anymore, especially so when ERP and CRM applications are becoming hosted in the cloud with ever decreasing cost of subscriptions and ever increasing ease of use. MSPs and ISVs are pro-actively collaborating to drive the cost and complexity out of the software subscription model with clever wizards that enable customers to configure their own hosted applications in a fraction of the time and cost of the traditional consultant led implementations. Over time, this will substantially diminish the need for traditional technology resellers.

Every business is in a vertical market addressing a specific customer type with specific business models and facing business challenges specific to their circumstances. Businesses invest in technology as an enabler to reach more customers, increase efficiencies, become more competitive and grow profitability. So, when the technology becomes a utility, partners must adapt to a higher value services model that is vertically specialized in enabling that technology to realize these desired business outcomes.

Having a deep understanding of a customer's vertical market, its customers, its competition, business models and business processes is what can differentiate a partner. By taking steps (as I describe below) to improve the ability to  speak customers' business language and address their specific needs, partners can win the customers' confidence that they can provide the best solution.

By working directly with business owners/managers to advise them on the best practices in addressing their specific business challenges with technology, partners can become a part of their customers' planning teams and in the process, transition ...

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About Paul Solski

Paul Solski ( is the Managing Director of AIM International, a management consulting firm specializing in assisting software companies to enter and grow in new markets. Mr. Solski has over 25 years' experience in international business development having held executive positions at Microsoft, HP, Intel, and Compaq.

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