Cloud computing is the future of services, but most MSPs aren’t sure how to get there or how to get started. Amazon and Microsoft seem like the easy choice, but is the “one-size-fits-all” cloud really the right fit for your business? Commodity cloud has an unprecedented speed of delivery; there is no doubt about that. You swipe your credit card, and–viola–you’re done. But what’s next?
Try asking Amazon for advice, and you’ll start to see your professional service fees stack up high enough to give your accounting department a conniption. For a company that originally sold books online, you’d figure they ‘d be more than happy to help educate their customers on how to be successful. … Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
That’s why companies like Rackspace have an entire business around managing other companies’ clouds. But how can the MSP get the same level of service and “fanatical support” without forking over thousands of dollars each month to a middleman (who may be competing for end user business)?
The simple answer: Start with a cloud partner, not a provider.
What’s the difference? The biggest players in the cloud game weren’t always cloud focused,but their large marketing budgets have reinforced the notion that they are. When it comes to cloud, they do exactly what they say they do–they provide.
Cloud partners don’t just provide you a cloud; they build you a solution that’s uniquely tailored to your business. Cloud partners also give you access to real people solving real problems, not automated systems and lengthy support tickets that have you chasing your own tail. A cloud partner provides your company its very own battle-ready team; hell-bent on winning the war that is business. A cloud partner feels and, most importantly, understands your pain–working with you every step of the way to alleviate pain, mitigate risks and create long-standing solutions.
Maybe commodity cloud is right for you, but for most of us it’s time to leave the faceless cloud providers behind and move onto a tailor-made experience. Here are three easy steps to get started:
- Determine what you need… and what you want.
Don’t settle for a “one-size-fits-all” cloud. Your business is unique, and your cloud should be, too. Get everything you want right from the start.
- Talk with your prospective cloud provider/partner.
There is a reason large cloud providers let you spin up your environments with a swipe of a credit card. It avoids the conversation of “what will you do for me once I am a customer?” Don’t take no for an answer: Get on the phone and talk to human beings — not a computer.
- Rank the cloud providers, but seek the best partner.
Remember, a partnership is based on relationships, not features. Figure out which cloud service provider will create a long-term relationship with your business (and won’t undercut you by selling to your end users).
Cloud is the future of the MSP 2.0 landscape. You don’t want to get left behind, but you also don’t want to get taken advantage of in the process. If you want to learn more about the value of cloud partner and how they can get you started on the right path, check out the white paper “3 Reasons You Need a Cloud Partner, Not a Provider.”