As in the early days of the electric utility, all major cloud providers started off with a “vertically integrated” direct sales model (i.e., they also played the role of cloud supplier). However, several major cloud providers have started supporting sales through an indirect sales channel, leveraging specialist partners to reach out to the many different industries that could benefit from cloud services. They have allowed those channel partners to step into the billing chain, thus creating a more unique cloud supplier role, much like those electricity suppliers that stepped into the billing chain between electricity providers and electricity consumers.
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