Providers can experiment with options while maintaining their business in a mainstay position, the report said.
managers are beginning to view the data center more holistically and are taking
a more strategic approach to technology procurement and deployment, and
technology and service providers that sell into the data center will want to
broaden their marketing approach, according to a report from IT research firm
Gartner. The company identified six ways that technology and service providers
can go to market in the data center.
analysts recommended competing as a specialist as one way forward, saying the primary
advantage of this go-to-market option for strategic marketing, product
marketing, product management, marketing communications and brand managers is
that the approach is familiar, and notes that if a provider is competing as a
specialist, it specializes in one technology area, and it doesn't try to be all
things to all people.
can also go to market as a traditional portfolio provider, but Gartner cautions
that traditional portfolio providers should carefully monitor the market, and
if there is any chance that they might move toward a converged offering, they
should begin to explore how an integrated product might be deployed. Partnering
is an alternative way to get all the necessary data center infrastructure
components into the provider's portfolio if it doesn't have offerings in every
category in-house. This approach also enables providers to focus their
resources on the things they do best and rely on partners for the rest.
you are selling into the data center, you are no longer just competing
head-to-head with familiar competitors selling like products," said April
Adams, research director at Gartner. "Today, you have increased
competition not only in your specific area of technological expertise, but for
overall enterprise mind share, as well. Providers will need to expand their
view of the competitive landscape and consider alternative ways to go to market
in order to highlight their strengths and maximize their sales potential."
report also noted some portfolio providers have taken a step beyond
certification, integration and test, and have developed converged systems or
integrated offerings for the data center. The report said if the trend of
approaching change in the data center with a definitive strategic plan that
includes an integrated project road map continues into 2012, then going to
market in this way could position providers as market leaders rather than
providers with a data center transformation offering have the opportunity to
sell both in the traditional, silo-based way and as a converged system or
integrated stack. "This strategy has all the benefits of both strategies and,
with the exception of not being part of the holistic data center conversation,
all of the disadvantages as well," the report said. "Going to market both ways
allows providers to cover all the bases no matter what buyers opt to do, both
individually in the short term and collectively for the longer range."
final go-to-market strategy alternative for the data center is to deliver the
technology as a service-cloud or otherwise. Gartner said advantages to pursuing
this go-to-market option, at least for technology (as opposed to service)
providers, include the fact that there are several ways to go about it, some requiring
less infrastructure investment than others. This alternative also allows
providers to stick to their area of expertise while still tapping into the key
wants and needs of data center customers.
options are not intended to be sequential. Providers can and do dip their toes
in the waters of a new option while maintaining most of their business in their
mainstay position," Adams said. "Considering these trends as part of
your forward-thinking, go-to-market planning and making thoughtful decisions
based on your company's unique set of strengths and weaknesses will position
you well in the changing market and could give you a marked competitive
advantage relative to providers that do not."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.