Platforms are hard to sell, apps easier

Kevin Ichhpurani, executive vice president of global ecosystem and channels at GE Digital, and corporate officer of GE, told CRN during GE’s Minds and Machines conference in San Francisco last week that channel partners will have more success developing and selling applications around IoT, as opposed to grappling with the long and complex sales cycle of the GE Predix IoT platform itself.

Source: GE Digital Pivots Industrial IoT Sales Focus From Platform To IoT Apps — And Looks To Partners As Sales Engine

Docker CEO Steve Singh Interview: All About That Migration To Cloud

The single biggest one is the move to public cloud, and this is where Docker is focused today. This is the number one area that we are putting all our investment in. We have this great container platform that allows you to do a lot of things, but just like any company, we need to pick an area of focus and for us, helping customers take legacy apps, moving them to the Docker platform, and allowing them to run it on any infrastructure because it’s hybrid cloud world, does a couple of things — it drives massive savings for customers, typically 50 percent cost reduction in a cost structure, but it also opens up real opportunities for the customer and our partners to innovate within that environment

Also, this is an insanely good example of a fluffy leather chair conference interview, plus, The Channel filter.

More:

Where does the 50 percent savings come from? A few different areas. The biggest is, honestly, in the mass reduction in number of VMs [virtual machines] and that’s not good or bad, it’s just the reality. The other is that there is a massively increased density factor on compute, and so we can put a lot more workloads on a fewer number of servers. If you are a [company like] Nestle, and you are going to take a bunch of information and business systems and move it to the public cloud, doing a one-to-one move is not necessarily all that advantageous.

Partners:

When I joined Docker I had a good conversation with someone over at Microsoft that said ‘I’d love to partner with you.’ His view was, the more people move to Docker, the more business they get on Azure. In fact, for every dollar we generate, he generates $7.

Momentum and the EBIT(A) chase:

we’re growing at 150 percent-plus year over year and expect that to continue for at least another few years. I’m hoping to get to profitability in mid-2019, and that’s important

Source: Docker CEO Steve Singh On The VMware Relationship, Security, And The Opportunities Around Containers For Partners

HP software and channel sales

A summary of revenue:

[HP’s] software division – IT Management, Application Development, Vertica, security and Autonomy – turned over $3.91bn in fiscal 2013 ended last November, down from $4.06bn in the previous year.

With software, it’s good to focus on profits as well, as the margins are much higher.

A common problem with large companies is getting cross-selling, inside and out of the company:

“The biggest challenge for HP Software,” Youngjohns says, “is to get access to that broad range of HP partners and resellers, people selling systems and device solutions, to convince them software ought to be part of that proposition.”

HP software and channel sales

Buying the hole, not the shovel

“This whole idea about coming from the outside and trying to sell something to the IT [department], I think, is starting to leave very fast,” Daher said. “Companies like ours, where we become an extension of a customer’s IT to support the business — that’s the approach, and we have to understand we are that business.”

Also in the piece: plenty if good thoughts in the evolving role and opportunity for VAR/channel types.

Buying the hole, not the shovel

Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing

The retail industry is shifting toward a concierge model geared toward helping consumers, rather than focusing only on transactions and deliveries. For example, physical retail spaces will be augmented by virtual content accessible from smartphones and other devices such as Google Glass, Google’s wearable computer. As the multichannel retailing experience breaks down old barriers such as geography and consumer ignorance, it will become critical for retailers and their supply-chain partners in other industries to rethink their competitive strategies.

Also, some good stuff on in-store analytics and user tracking: tracking smartphone MAC addresses, genius!

Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing