Posts tagged ‘cloud provider’

The 6 hidden costs of cloud IT services #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Intermedia

The 6 hidden costs of cloud IT services

So you’re considering moving email, file management, or archiving to the cloud. You even have quotes from a few providers you’re checking out. Great! It’s a step in the right direction to support your company’s growth. But be careful: what you end up paying might not always match your quote. There are costs beyond the monthly service fee.

The good news is that those hidden costs are avoidable. To help you with your due diligence, we compiled a list of the costs you may encounter.

  1. The cost of migrating data to the new service

Let’s say you’re switching email providers. You might think data migration is free. And it might even be—in the sense that it’s not a line item in the invoice. But if you have to do it yourself, it will cost the valuable time of your IT staff. And what if you need assistance? Some providers may only help for a fee, and others will refer you to a third-party consultant. So make sure you ask about data migration, and make sure your provider will includes white-glove service for free.

  1. The cost of downtime imposed by low reliability

When an essential IT service is unavailable, your business incurs extremely high costs: your employees can’t do their jobs, your customers get angry, you lose sales, and IT resources are diverted to cope with the crisis. Many providers promise 99.9% uptime. And while this may sound good, it actually adds up to more than 525 minutes of unplanned downtime per year. Consider this and make sure you settle for no less than a 99.999% uptime guarantee— which is less than 30 seconds of downtime a month.

  1. The cost of not getting enough support

When you’re experiencing a problem, regardless of its severity, you need quick answers or your productivity suffers. You can’t be productive if you’re on hold—or if you’re pushed to self-help support portals. However, many providers only offer phone support for critical or tier 2 issues. Even then, support centers are often outsourced or staffed with non-certified personnel. These factors add up to costly unproductive time. A good support plan will include 24/7 live support, short hold times, and skilled, certified staff.

  1. The cost of sub-par security and protection

Security breaches are not just a costly drain on time, they create risk that could hurt your business. So where security is concerned, you must be confident that your business cloud provider has you covered. However, many providers use lesser-known security tools and fewer still help respond to eDiscovery requests. Make sure you get the nitty-gritty details on security procedures from your provider and don’t settle on less than the gold standard and the best-known names.

  1. The cost of management inefficiency

Your cloud management console should be powerful enough to support your IT needs, but simple enough to use that you can easily use it—and, indeed, that you can delegate certain tasks to non-technical resources. Otherwise your IT staff is wasting precious time on tasks that should be trivial. When you look at management consoles, they can be quite complicated and most provide no ability to manage additional third-party services. Make sure you get a solution that balances ease-of-use with granular control to avoid imposing undue labour costs on your IT team.

  1. The cost of services that lack integration

Your business is probably adding more and more cloud services. But as you add more services, you introduce more support, billing and management complexities. And so you end up in a tangle of services that you have to untie. Compare this to top providers with integrations that let you share user and device settings across services. Without this, the cost of managing your IT can skyrocket.

Choose your cloud provider carefully.

As the customer, you have a choice. Choose a cloud-based IT services provider that offers you transparent and worry-free service. Insist on getting the full range of services with no hidden costs, including migration, security, and management. Make it easy for your IT staff to get the support they need: look for 24/7 phone and chat support for admins, handled by certified staff. And don’t settle when it comes to the service level agreement: make sure you get “five nines” uptime. That way, you can focus on growing your business.

www.intermedia.co.uk
+44(0)203 384 2158

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The channel must embrace cloud to build for the future #CloudWF

Channel-300x240With cloud acceptance growing, more and more businesses are dipping their toes in the water and trying out cloud based services and applications in a bid to work smarter and lower IT expenditure. But with recent research suggesting that four in ten ICT decision-makers feel their deployment fails to live up to the hype – more needs to be done to ensure cloud migration is a success.

This is where the channel has a vital role to play and can bridge the knowledge gap and help end-users reap the benefits that cloud technology can provide.

With the cloud becoming a mainstream solution for businesses and an integral part of an organisation’s IT strategy, the channel is presented with a huge opportunity. Offering cloud services to the market has the potential to yield high revenues, so it’s vital that the channel takes a realistic approach to adopting cloud within its portfolio, and becomes a trusted advisor to the end user.

We have identified three key reasons why resellers shy away from broadening their offering to encompass cloud for new and existing customers. A common barrier is a simple lack of understanding of the cloud and its benefits. However, if a business is keen to adopt this technology, it is vital that its reseller is able to offer advice and guidance to prevent them looking elsewhere.

Research by Opal back in 2010 found that 40 per cent of resellers admit a sense of ‘fear and confusion’ around cloud computing, with the apprehension to embrace the technology also extending to end users, with 57 per cent reporting uncertainty among their customer bases. This lack of education means they are missing out on huge opportunities for their business. A collaborative approach between the reseller and cloud vendor will help to ensure a seamless knowledge transfer followed by successful partnership and delivery.

The sheer upheaval caused by offering the cloud will see some resellers needing to re-evaluate their own business models and strategies to fulfil the need. Those that are unaccustomed to a service-oriented business model may find that becoming a cloud reseller presents strategic challenges as they rely on out-dated business plans and models that don’t enable this new technology. However, failing to evolve business models could leave resellers behind in the adoption curve, whilst their competitors are getting ahead. Working with an already established partner will help resellers re-evaluate their existing business plans to ensure they can offer cloud solutions to their customers.

Resellers are finding it challenging to provide their customers with quick, scalable cloud solutions due to the fact that moving existing technology services into cloud services can be time consuming, and staff will be focused on working to integrate these within the enterprise. However, this issue can easily be resolved by choosing a trusted cloud provider, and in turn building a successful partnership.

Although resellers will come across barriers when looking at providing their customers with cloud services, these shouldn’t get in the way of progression. In order to enter a successful partnership with a cloud provider, there are some important factors resellers should consider before taking the plunge.

Scalability

Before choosing a prospective partner, resellers need to ensure it has the scalability and technology innovation to provide a simple integration of current IT services into the cloud. Recent research has proved that deploying cloud services from three or more suppliers can damage a company’s business agility. UK businesses state a preference for procuring cloud services from a single supplier for ease of management. It’s important to make sure the chosen provider has the ability to provide one fully encompassed cloud service that can offer everything their customers require.

Brand reputation

Choosing a partner that offers not only a best-of breed private, public and hybrid cloud solution, but also has the ability to provide the reseller with a branded platform will give an extra layer of credibility to the business for not only existing customers, but future ones as well. Resellers are more likely to choose a cloud provider that gives them control over the appearance, as well as support and access to infrastructure of the cloud platform.

Industry experience

It’s vital to ensure the cloud provider has extensive industry experience and knowledge with a proven track record in order to meet the required criteria of scalability and performance. The partner must have the knowledge in order to educate and offer advice to the reseller. If they are able to do so, the reseller can therefore pass this knowledge on to their own customers.

By not offering the cloud, resellers will miss out on vast opportunities and in turn, lose potential revenue as well as new and existing customers. The channel must now embrace the cloud and take advantage of the partnerships available in order to succeed.

Written by Matthew Munson, CTO, Cube52

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CenturyLink expands public cloud in APAC #cloudasia

Source: Business Cloud News

American telco CenturyLink has expanded the presence of its
public cloud platform to Singapore in aCloud-datacentre bid to cater to growing regional demand for cloud services.

CenturyLink, which recently expanded its managed services presence in China and its private cloud services in Europe and the UK, is adding public cloud nodes to one of its Singapore datacentres.

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“The launch of a CenturyLink Cloud node in Singapore further enhances our position as a leading managed hybrid IT provider for businesses with operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Gery Messer, CenturyLink Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

“We continue to invest in the high-growth Asia-Pacific region to meet increasing customer demand,” Messer said.

The company said it wants to cater to what it sees as growing demand for cloud services in the region, citing Frost & Sullivan figures that show the Asia-Pacific region spent almost $6.6bn on public cloud services last year. That firm predicts annual cloud services spending in the region will exceed $20bn by 2018.

The move also comes at a time when the Singapore Government is looking to invest more in both using cloud services and growing usage of cloud platforms in the region.

Last year the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said it was working with Amazon Web Services to trial a data as a service project the organisations believe will help increase the visibility of privately-held data sets.

The agency also signed a Memorandum of Intent with AWS that would see the cloud provider offer usage credits $3,000 (US) to the first 25 companies to sign up to the pilot, which will go towards the cost of hosting their dataset registries or datasets.

It’s also announced similar partnerships in the past with Pivotal and Red Hat.


 

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