E-Handbook:

Containerization technology market emerges for channel partners

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Containerization services open partner opportunities

Containerization technology has all the telltale signs of a promising channel market: customers that lack hands-on experience, a limited labor pool from which to hire deployment and management personnel and a still-maturing technology with plenty of gaps to overcome.

IT consultants, cloud advisory firms and managed service providers can play the role of container expert, providing professional services to tackle containerization technology challenges. Some partners are building businesses and specialty practices around containers and their management. After all, there's a whole ecosystem to help customers navigate -- Docker containers, Kubernetes management, various public cloud platforms and a nascent tool set for container monitoring and security.

Containers, however, aren't just a chance to sell consulting and deployment services. The technology can also facilitate partners' DevOps work and support cloud migration and application refactoring projects. So partners can bill themselves as container specialists or use the technology to advance aspects of their operations or both.

Currently, the demand for containerization technology services is focused in certain market segments, according to industry watchers. As a result, partners need to search high and low for customers -- that is, high with respect to large enterprise customers ready to launch container projects and low in the sense of smaller startups building from the ground up on containers.

The container services demand will likely expand to a broader array of customers, following the path of previous emerging technology markets. If containers catch on among small-to-midsize businesses, look for more channel firms gearing up to pursue consulting and deployment opportunities. They can hardly ignore the technology once it arrives in such a bread-and-butter market.

Containerization technology appears poised to become an important line of business for partners, much like virtualization and cloud computing before it. Containers are a natural technological progression that could keep partners busily employed.

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