The 6 Questions Of The Cloud: Ken Thoreson & Keith Lubner

Chat-256Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks leading up to the 2014 NexGen Cloud Conference, we will be publishing exclusive interviews with many of the speakers scheduled to appear. We have prepared six questions for each speaker related to the cloud and cloud services for solution providers, and each speaker has been generous enough to share their answers with us and our blog readers. 

Below is the third interview in our series featuring Ken Thoreson of Acumen Management and Keith Lubner of C3. Links to the other interviews in the series are included at the bottom.

ken-thoreson-acumen-managementMeet The Speakers

Ken Thoreson

Keith Lubner

1. Why is it so important for tech companies to embrace the cloud?

Ken: We believe it is critical for solution providers to embrace the cloud movement for multiple reasons:

  1. The market place will demand it
  2. Competitive positioning within their market,
  3. The increasing number of Cloud Applications that clients will desire and
  4. A desire to increase the values of recurring revenue.

Keith: Well, it’s really boils down to the notion of not getting left behind. The industry is shifting this way. All data points to this. So, tech companies have a choice: either embrace the shift or take the risk and not embrace the shift. What we’re seeing is tech companies are creating hybrid solution sets so that they can service/sell to any company who desires any type of deployed solution.

2. How do Acumen Management Group & C3 Channel suggest today’s businesses adopt cloud technology to accelerate their business management and sales management?

Keith: (not sure what angle we should take here. Are they talking end customers or partners/resellers usage of cloud technologies for their own businesses?”

3. Which of the six pillars of the cloud should service providers be most concerned with adding to their portfolio?

Ken & Keith: Service/solution providers should be looking at what fits best into their particular environment. Easier said than done as the adoption of one of the pillars could be a heavier lift than another.

For instance, becoming a cloud broker means building out a lot of automation. I suggest that one should leverage the cloud broker and the investments these organizations have already put in place. Then, just focus on evolving into either of the following three based on the depth and breadth of their particular company’s capabilities and personnel: cloud consultant, cloud builder, or cloud agent/reseller. This is a more complex question though and requires true insight into the particular solution provider business model.

4. What partners have been instrumental in helping your business take its steps forward with cloud technology?
Keith: (not sure what this question means?)

5. What excites you the most about the NexGen Cloud Conference? Why did you decide to get involved?

Ken: We think this event, unlike many other “cloud conferences” is bringing together major cloud vendors and unique niche vendors, this will allow Solution Providers an amazing opportunity to research the market. There is also robust array of speakers that have not appeared together and represent a wide variety of information, from sales/marketing, practice management to industry trends, customer research and new market opportunities.

Keith: Events like this provide two things that are invaluable:

  1. Insight into best practices for the solution provider business and
  2. The ability of the solution provider business to make contacts that could help their businesses on a number of fronts: new vendor technologies, sales assistance, marketing assistance, and partnering assistance.

Lastly, we get involved because we are “knee deep” in working with a lot of the attendees peers. We know what triggers to pull in order to accelerate a business like theirs. We also know how to effectively help vendors accelerate the onboarding and path to revenue with their partners. Our programs help do this and often it takes a 3rd party like us to be able to help the vendor see the potential as they often get caught in the day to day workings of their businesses. Not their fault, but a fresh perspective and an objective view from a different angle often is what a vendor needs in order to get their partners to listen and act.

6. Can you give me a preview of what attendees are going to learn about ‘prescriptive pathways’ to profitability during your presentation at NexGen?

Ken: Absolutely, this session has been designed to provide insights how to “build or accelerate” a cloud based practice. It has been built with 3 years of partner experience and will cover 3 steps to drive revenues and 3 steps the solution provider can take to increase their lead generation/marketing programs. All specifically designed around cloud.

We will also review the Solution Provider Cloud Maturity Model which is a partner assessment tool that will reflect the maturity level of the exciting cloud practice in Seals, Marketing and Operations. The outcome generates the “Pathway” for the Solution Provider to follow to accelerate their business. The pathway includes 25 prescriptive tools and Best Practices guides designed for a cloud focused solution Provider.

Keith: Ken summarizes this nicely. I would only add that the session is meant to “wake people up” on the realities of where their business may be when it comes to really, really making an impact selling cloud offerings. If we can help someone see the “light” and provide them with a path to start or to accelerate, then we‘ve accomplished what the session is all about.

Get Answers To The ‘6 ?’s Of The Cloud’ From More NexGen Cloud Con Speakers:

To register for the NexGen Cloud Conference, please visit nexgencloudcon.comClick here to view the full list of speakers scheduled to appear at the conference.