In contrast with the way it used to work, the bulk of technology innovation is now originating from the consumer world rather than from the realm of business. Companies that were originally focused on the consumer marketplace are now expanding to the enterprise through partners. Some of these companies began selling to business with a direct model but found they couldn't match the reach and breadth offered by the channel.
Google Apps and AWS started as consumer and small business products and are now sold through the channel, substantially growing their penetrations in larger businesses. Dell, whose roots were direct to the end user, with a no channels strategy, has jumped on the partner bandwagon, and now approximately 40% of Dell's revenue comes from commercial sales.
In June 2013, Dropbox announced the launch of its Partner Network, a new program for partners to resell, manage, and support Dropbox for Business. At the time of announcement, Dropbox had 150 managed service providers, IT consultants, and value-added resellers in its program, and it now has over 700 partners.
This year, we expect more companies that were previously consumer focused to cast their eye on the business market and move into indirect sales.