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Dell blows Clouds of love into the channel

Choking fog of vendor vapours thickens

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Dell is belatedly lifting the covers off a cloud services and solutions certification track for channel partners from mid-April.

The scheme has three strands: Cloud Builder slanted for firms that design and develop a cloud infrastructure; Cloud Providers that sell IaaS, PaaS or Saas; and Cloud Service Enablers that broker or aggregate cloud tech.

Bob Skelley, Dell exec director for the global certified partner programme and channel, said businesses of all sizes are eyeing up cloud deployment to boost efficiencies and production.

"We have created a certification practice area with choice and flexibility," he said in a tinned PR blurb. "We invested the time and resources to fully understand the cloud solutions our partners need to provide in the market."

In reality the Dell version appears similar to IBM's cloud programme launched a year ago, also including the three strands, or HP's iteration launched in November - but it is seemingly an obligatory requirement.

Cliff Fox, managing director at Dell Enterprise Architecture Partner SICL, said it had launched data centre to desktop cloud services in 2010 but said "we'll look at the bones of the programme and pick what suits us".

According to a Citrix survey of 120 channel firms, the adoption of cloud services has been slower than expected and a complete transition to cloud computing is still several years away.

Some 55 per cent cited a skills gap in cloud as a potential inhibitor to uptake and nearly 60 per cent said desktop virtualisation projects were the key focus for 2012.

"There’s no denying that the move to cloud services is coming and the channel needs to be prepared to support this. But, it is also important to consider the speed at which the changes are occurring and adapt accordingly," said Citrix UK channel director Kevin Bland. ®

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