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Recently, IDC held discussions with approximately 45 channel partners across multiple countries in Europe to understand what cloud enablement and vendor support requirements they had. We wanted to understand in more detail channel partner priorities, challenges, vendor preferences, marketing and sales activities, and future investment priorities and plans for cloud. These channel partners included a mixed bag of distributors, systems integrators, VARs, managed service providers (MSPs), telcos, consulting firms, and non-traditional digital companies. This IDC Insight analyzes and summarizes some of IDC's key takeaways from these discussions, as well as some of the key findings from IDC's recent Software Channels Survey (3rd Platform Channel Participation in Western Europe: A Spotlight on Cloud — IDC #ECA02X, October 2015) to provide our analysis and recommendations in terms of vendor preferences in the cloud, what channel partners look for when choosing who to partner with, and finally, what kind of enablement and support they look for in their strategic cloud channel partners.