Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Five years ago...

I placed this note on my calendar for today (February 23, 2015):

VARs as we knew them would be almost extinct, replaced by direct sales or 'mom and pops' schlepping gear. Most companies are looking to service providers for this stuff and not spending nearly as much on gear and pro services to implement it. What is the cloud like now?

Now that we're here, I wonder how far off I was.  Obviously the VAR landscape has changed.  There has been a great deal of consolidation over the past five years.  At that time, I was a part of INX, sub-$500M company that had grown through acquisitions to about 450 people.  Within a couple of years we were acquired by Presidio Network Solutions and we are now pushing past the $2B revenue mark.  Many of our major competitors exceed (or are rapidly approaching) $1-4B per year in the U.S.

Additionally, most of us have strong Managed Services offerings, our own capital leasing arms, and a number of other complementary offerings that bolster the business, directly.

My thinking at the time was that cloud services would have displaced the traditional IT consumption model more quickly than it has but it has definitely transformed the landscape and most of our customers have incorporated some level of X-as-a-Service into their IT operations.

So, while my thinking may have been irrationally exuberant at the time, I don't think I totally missed the mark.  If you look at some of my much earlier posts, some of the things I wondered about back when, have come to pass and some may still be to come or will never make it to reality.  Certainly I am not the only one making predictions and hopefully we are all looking back as much as looking forward to keep ourselves in check (hubris is a fatal flaw).  Still, it's a fun exercise.  I guess it's time to set an appointment for 2020.  I'll have to give it some thought.

Your comments and prognostications are welcome.