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By | Paul Kunert 17th February 2012 14:02

Big Blue wrings hands over channel cloud skills gulf

Better wise up: Market estimated to be worth $143bn by 2013

IBM UK's latest channel chief says the readiness sell to cloud services among its reseller network remains incredibly varied.

Richard Potts took the helm recently as veep of the business partner and mid-market sales, replacing former incumbent Jacqueline Davey, who is moving to Madrid to fill a role as IBM's veep of Europe competitive sales.

Potts is well known to the channel, having run the vendor's System X biz unit in the UK for several years, and told The Reg that cloud computing and business analytics continue to be the major tenets of Big Blue's strategy for resellers.

"Consistency has been a byword in relation to the channel for two to three years, so there won't be any dramatic changes from me," he told Channel Register.

IBM unveiled the Cloud Speciality sales and marketing programme a year ago for five types of partner: SaaS dealers, cloud builders that design, construct and manage cloud systems, cloud infrastructure providers, cloud service solution providers and cloud tech providers.

Potts said this was one of the major "challenges" facing the channel: "It is well documented there are some concerns in the channel about emerging technologies and solutions such as cloud.

"A number of partners are very advanced and providing cloud services on IBM infrastructures today, then there are many other partners that perhaps don't see that it suits their business," he said.

He added: "It is not up to me or IBM to say that a business partner should change its business model."

According to some estimates, the cloud services market could be worth $143bn by 2013, and in the longer term traditional tech delivery models are expected to become marginalised. ®

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