As in the client/server channel paradigm of yore, Value Added Integrators for Cloud Solutions need to pick the Cloud Vendor horse they wish to ride.  And things get pretty interesting on this front…
The big debate revolves around Open stack vs proprietary platform decisions.  On one hand you have the two big proprietary platforms VMWare (who is going Private to Public) and Amazon (who is going Public to Private).  Both of these vendors offer a lot but there are, not withstanding all the cloud washing, real walled gardens in each of their models.
On the open stack side, there options are plentiful.  Dozens of start-ups and early stage companies such as Eucalyptus, Rightscale, ManageIQ, and now Rackspace are offering cloud management and private-public cloud solutions that are either built on Open Stack (the alternative to the walled garden players) or are seen as integrating across open stack and proprietary cloud standards.  Even CA and BMC are trying to play in this space.
The logical path for channel partners are to explore the combinations of their existing vendors, customer successes, and their core competencies to wire together a vendor-ecosystem approach to building their cloud roadmaps.  If you’re a strong VMware shop, stay with it it, if you are coming at it from a public cloud POV, take a look at what Rackspace has to offer.  Net net, every big vendor is putting together a story for their customers’ journey and if you are already in the mix, ride that horse while you backfill with your own cloud services and vendor offerings that your core providers do not yet offer.

If you feel like you are in Erector set hell, fasten your seat belts as its only going to become more complicated.  But the bottom line is do not wait, invest in the services (cloud, professional and managed) that will allow you to help your clients Build and as we outlined in our last post, Bursting out of the Private Cloud.