Presented this for OpSource on February 10, 2010.
The notion of channels in the distribution of SaaS & Cloud is a topic with very little consensus in the industry. Many people seem to think: "if it's on the Web then the Web is the channel." This view can significantly stagnate growth. There are industries and market segments where the people making the purchasing decisions do not spend their time searching the Web for the best solution. In these cases they turn to trusted advisors for recommendations.
While traditional channels like VARs and SIs might be having trouble with SaaS, new and exciting channels have opened up and savvy vendors are taking advantage of these opportunities. Thriving SaaS vendors have realized that there can be a significant benefit to leveraging intermediaries.