TORONTO, ON – Telus this week unveiled some big news – that it would be among the first to take advantage of Microsoft’s data centres and Cisco’s architecture to offer hybrid cloud to Canada.
Now, the Canadian telecom has gone on record to what’s coming in the next twelve months, namely the channel out look for its new offering.
According to the company’s vice president of managed IT and cloud services, Tom Jolly, Telus’ foray into taking its cloud into the channel is still in its early stages.
“For us it’s about perfecting our art before we get carried away,” he told CDN. “We are at a point now where we can bring in customers into the environment in a sort of preview mode to make sure the outcomes are what we’re expecting and the customer is expecting.”
Nevertheless, Jolly said that he wants to seriously look at channel opportunities, which he said fall into three areas. These include MSPs, ISVs and network integrators.
“There are lots of organizations out there that have customer intimacy; they may be providing specific application support, infrastructure support, but they in and of themselves are not a hoster,” he said. “As cloud adoption begins to proliferate, I think there’s an opportunity for us to partner with those organizations to move their customers into the cloud and continue to provide a managed service.”
While Telus services many ISVs, for example, it does not expose them to its customer market.
Yet, some would argue that putting partners front and centre is already a differentiator for Telus.
“Every cloud provider in Canada has strategic partnerships behind the scenes; the fact that they’re showcasing them as a partnership of three, I would say, is unprecedented,” said Tony Olvet, group vice president of research domains at IDC Canada. “It says to the other providers that Telus is serious about cloud and different models of delivery. They are flexible in terms of their delivery.”
Still, there is work left to be done. Jolly said that Telus so far has engaged with partners only in a “limited fashion.” Nevertheless, the goal is to have something concrete within 12 months, something that includes redesign work around enablement and channel consumption, partner-branded portals and transparency.
“It’s not as simple as, ‘hey do you want to be my partner?'” he said. “We’ve got to look at that and understand the cost complexity of what the returns might be. I would see that as becoming an important part of our strategy overall.”