When you talk about cloud computing, customers want transparency first and far most. Business customers want to know managed service providers focus on the cloud, use the services internally, and have more than just a few month’s experience. Then they want to know it’s true cloud computing and not legacy hosting.
We’re constantly amazed at the “we do it too” crowd. They seem to fall into a few main categories:
- Race car team that have every manufacturer logo on their website, because they’re all about selling hardware and software and really know very little about cloud computing.
- Dabblers that have a retail computer store, really do phone systems, or the main business is staffing.
- Braggers that have every vote-for-me award or testimonial, actually have a consumer business complete with BBB logo, and don’t run any mainstream cloud services internally.
The ugly truth is that cloud is hot and everyone in the channel is pushing it hard to compete, but most simply use the topic as a trojan horse to redirect to their true business. Gardner also predicts that one third of small service providers will fail in the next 5 years. The reason is that even if they convert their entire customer base to cloud, the revenue stream is less than 50% of on-premise products and services.
Besides the warning signs above, customers should investigate the following when looking at the cloud:
- Where is the provider’s website and e-mail? If it’s housed internally or the servers are simply at Rackspace or some other legacy hosting company, then there is no belief or use of cloud internally. Worse yet, the provider is only marginally better off and unlikely to help during a disaster.
- What is the business continuity plan of the provider? If it is dependent upon local hosters with the two buildings downtown or sites separated by just 100 miles, then these solutions are unlikely to meet demand or be reachable in emergent situations. Complex failover to the sites in Baltimore and Philedelphia hosted by the bankrupt India corporation should also be avoided.
- How many cloud subscribers do they really have? There is a simple independent third-party way you can verify if they are honest – contact us and we’ll tell you.
- What do they really know about business? Sure AT&T can provide Exchange Online, but how about streamlining web lead generation, sales, operations, accounting, and marketing? The real value is business process moving forward and any infrastructure player can migrate e-mail online.
- While there may be results in Google search, how many pages – not reprinted blogs from Tech Advisory – about cloud are on the website? If they are the experts, why just one page about the topic?
Matrixforce is there for you during normal business or disasters. Web, communications, documents, and line of business applications are all online and provided by the world’s leading manufacturers with several billion dollar facilities throughout the world. We don’t provide staffing or build computers or simply push the logo product of the day. Our business and customer focus are exceedingly transparent. The website has cloud features, benefits, demos, trials, pricing, knowledgebase articles, blog posts, definitions and terms, myths, and frequently asked questions. Whether it’s better productivity or improved operations, we can provide all of the above as validation and proven effectiveness.
You’re going to the cloud to escape data loss, maintenance/upgrades, and have better security and availability. Don’t be taken by cloud pretenders.