Get Smart About Cloud Services
by January 6, 2011

Filed under: Industry Insights

We are all witnessing a dramatic shift from traditional network infrastructures to web-based, cloud based hosted services.  A rapidly growing number of organizations are taking the leap:  to hosted email, disaster recovery, exchange,  and CRM. By leveraging economies of scale, cloud based services can offer significant cost savings, versatile capabilities and low maintenance compared to traditional on -premise solutions.

Cloud Computing Diagram

With the growing number of IT services that can now be processed and delivered via the cloud, there is also an increased sense of insecurity within organizations looking to make the move.  The lack of visibility into cloud services and the infrastructure they run on create a level of risk that many organizations are not ready to manage.  However, this also creates a particular niche for service providers and IT resellers who can lead these organizations through the transition, and make a profit in the process! Traditional IT outsourcers and managed service providers are in a unique position to fill this requirement. MSPs have been serving as IT experts and advisors for small to medium sized businesses for some time. And because many companies lack traditional IT departments they a need a cloud services expert to mitigate the transition to cloud based services; doing so by addressing risk and assuring performance.

So, how do you become a provider of remote cloud service performance management?

  1. You need to have the right solutions and capabilities in place: A solution that can remotely manage WAN performance of your customer’s infrastructure is vital to create a scalable managed services business.  Another key feature to look for in a solution is the capability to remotely manage a multitude of customer sites from any location.
  2. You need to have a pricing model and service structure: Organizations looking to utilize Cloud Services do so because of the ease of use and low cost of these services.  To properly price a cloud assurance service, you should follow these same guidelines.  A simple and scalable pricing model that provides a fixed annual cost to your customer works best.  We recommend you create a user-based pricing model; many organizations are accustomed to paying for services on a per user basis. (i.e. software licensing, phone lines, bandwidth). The service structure can be an added line item for continuous monitoring with bundled service hours, or an ‘all you can eat’ service contract (which many MSPs and end users are moving towards.)
  3. You need to beat out your competition: This is all happening NOW. Organizations are starting to research, re-budget and implement cloud-based services while simultaneously moving away from traditional on premise devices and services. You need to bring your service to them first to get the new business and recurring revenue.