Chasing cloud conquest

The 2016 CDN Top 100 Benchmark Report

The annual research report centring on the best solution providers in Canada made one thing abundantly clear: the channel is pivoting their business to the cloud

The channel in Canada has hit another milestone in 2015. This group of top end solution provider reached the $6.8 billion mark and the prospects of future growth are in their midst specifically with cloud computing.

CDN – Computer Dealer News annually collects and analyses submissions from Canada’s leading IT solution providers. This group of companies includes managed services providers, cloud solution providers, systems integrators, value-added resellers and other IT consultants from across the country.

Cloud growing

Collectively this group of top-flight companies is in excellent health and has adapted well to significant changes in how businesses are purchasing and consuming technology particularly with the emergence of cloud computing, mobility, big data and social business tools.

These solution providers are asked for the Benchmark Report to reveal their market successes and challenges and with that this research can pinpoint what products are selling well with this group, which markets are particularly hot and the vendors and distributors they are doing business with. The report also asked this group about their workforce, which certifications and skills they hire for and whether they anticipate changes in headcount.

According to the 2016 CDN Top 100 Benchmark findings, cloud has driven a stake in the marketplace for Top 100 solution providers in Canada. Cloud, specifically Cloud Services (Private, Public and Hybrid), was the leading solution developed by and sold by the top solution providers in the country. It was followed closely by Managed Services, which has become the bread and butter solution for the majority of the Top 100 in the last decade or so.

The No. 1 solution

A key difference from last year to this year is that solution providers are expecting to see the greatest amount of cloud growth in the next 12 months. Approximately 83 per cent of the Top 100 solution providers chose Cloud Services as its No. 1 solution. That is up from 2014 when Cloud Services was at 72.57 per cent.

Other growth areas are Data/Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity and Security.

This year’s Benchmark Report also features for the first time a ranking of top cloud providers in the cloud. Microsoft Azure was the top performing cloud provider used by solution providers, but what made this ranking interesting is that the other category reached 50 per cent of the solution provider community as a first choice option.

Other main findings:

  • Hiring in the channel took a slight dip in 2015 as only 93 per cent of the Top 100 is actively onboarding talent;
  • The top distributors continue to be the big three in Tech Data Canada, Ingram Micro Canada, and Synnex Canada;
  • The top vendor partners for the channel remains Microsoft remains, while Cisco holds steady in second place;
  • HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise was, again the top choice among the majority of the product categories such as servers, notebooks, and storage;
  • The top certifications for channel partners are Certified Systems Engineer and Project Management;
  • Apple was the top choice for smartphones; and
  • Symantec/Norton came out on top in security.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.

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