Posts tagged ‘cloud vendor’

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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Fujitsu partners with Equinix on Singapore cloud datacentre #cloudasia

Source: Business Cloud News

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Fujitsu has set up another datacentre in Singapore this week amidst what it sees as increasing demand for cloud services in Singapore and neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The datacentre, hosted in Equinix’s western Singapore facility, will host Fujitsu’s portfolio of cloud services and offer a number of new connectivity features “currently under development” that would allow enterprises to federate with other cloud platforms.

The recently announced datacentre is Fujitsu’s third in Singapore, and it already operates over 100 worldwide; the company’s cloud services are hosted from six datacentres globally.

The company said it chose to add another datacentre in Singapore because of its strategic location and attractiveness to large multinational firms.

“In recent years, companies increasingly are embracing cloud services as a platform to support the accelerating pace of business in Asia. In particular, because of its low level of natural disaster related risk and its position as an international network hub with reliable broadband network lines, Singapore is often chosen as the location for integrated systems operations by many companies that are pursuing multinational business expansion,” the company said in a statement.

Fujitsu is the latest cloud vendor to view Singapore as a relatively untapped market for cloud services. This week CenturyLink, which recently expanded its managed services presence in China, added public cloud nodes to one of its Singapore datacentres.

Apart from locally established multinationals and the booming financial services sector, the Singapore Government has also shown itself to be looking to invest more in both using cloud services and growing usage of cloud platforms in the region.

According to Parallels, local SMBs are also hopping onto cloud platforms with reasonable pace. The firm believes the SMB cloud services market in Singapore is projected to hit $916M in 2017, with a three-year CAGR of 21 per cent.


 

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Six unexpected challenges of cloud

For years now there has been talk of how business is driving IT to move to cloud. In many cases, business teams go so far as to circumvent IT and buy cloud services themselves, taking decisions into their own hands. Much has also been written about why IT should eagerly accept this imperative and embrace the use of cloud. In reality, however, managing a cloud footprint is much harder and more specialised than many imagine.

Today there are many good reasons why IT should be pushing for cloud, not just for those super-innovative new business-led projects, but for existing, run-of-the-mill IT operations. However, the promise of cloud has traditionally touted less work for IT. Many times, it is characterised as a commodity and positioned as a rapid path toward innovation. In general, IT expects cloud to give them have fewer boxes to maintain, fewer hypervisors to operate, and even fewer purchasing decisions to make.

But this brings with it certain challenges. Cloud services must be selected, workloads must be migrated and usage must be tracked. Not unlike other complex IT systems, cloud infrastructures have to be monitored and managed, and cloud’s much touted ‘easy scalability’ depends on specific infrastructure capabilities and a watchful eye to identify and correct problems.

Over the years, clouds have emerged that are built on proprietary platforms and optimised for the comfort and efficiency of the cloud providers. This has shifted the burden of learning how to operate and optimise these platforms onto the user. In fact, many cloud implementations require deep knowledge of scripting, an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the architecture, and at a minimum, a strong familiarity with the new platform.

Along with this, the pricing models of clouds have become a feat of financial engineering. This has compounded the burden on IT – not just to operate the cloud footprint but to optimise its cost according to a set of remarkably challenging pricing models.

And many teams continued to be surprised by the challenges of cloud. In fact, in April 2014 when iland commissioned analyst firm EMA to conduct a global survey on real-world experiences with public cloud providers, 98% of UK respondents reported they experienced at least one unexpected cloud challenge.

Among a survey pool of 400 professionals, the vast majority had made some foray into cloud, and what became apparent was that there were six primary areas where companies discovered unanticipated obstacles. Here are the top six unexpected challenges:

  • Pricing (38 per cent) – The top challenge unearthed in the survey indicated that while cost savings may be a key benefit of cloud, current pricing models under which they operate are difficult to understand. Organisations therefore need to carefully analyse pricing models and their own IT needs before they commit.
  • Performance (38 per cent) – Different clouds are architected with different back ends, and some are more susceptible to ‘noisy neighbour’ syndrome than others. For organisations sensitive to variations in performance this can impact the cloud experience.
  • Support (36 per cent) – The realities of cloud support contracts often take companies by surprise.  Simple email or ticketing support may only be available to organisations at lower tiers. Companies purchasing higher-end support may still have difficulties getting access to adequate levels of hands-on expertise. Poor or overly expensive support can become a grating factor limiting cloud success.
  • Downtime (35 per cent) – Though many perceive cloud to be immunised from outages, the reality is failures can and do happen. It’s important to understand service level agreements and business continuity options.
  • Management of Cloud Services (33%) – Just like on-premise systems, cloud services require IT management. However, many cloud vendors focus on technology innovation instead of simplifying cloud service management. The cloud is a new platform to most IT shops and it can take some time to learn.
  • Scalability (33 per cent) – A top promise of cloud is scalability, as it is supposed to allow teams to scale up to meet demand and scale down when the peek has passed. However, most companies experience real challenges both in scaling individual workloads and scaling their entire footprint. Knowing when and how to scale is not always straightforward – especially because some vendors require an environment to be shut down and moved in order to get the job done.

Clearly organisations cannot turn their backs on cloud computing as it represents a key tool in the race for innovation and competitive advantage. Indeed, cloud has a way of opening up opportunities for the business, of freeing the company to dream up new products and services, innovate on existing offerings, and lower the cost of experimentation.

I would however advise organisations to carefully consider their cloud choices. Select a cloud vendor with live, human support – and pay attention not just to the availability of such support, but also its cost. Separate, hefty support contracts can quickly compound the cost of cloud. Your cloud vendor should be a partner to your IT department. Look for a cloud that makes your job easier – a cloud with familiar management metrics, functionality and straightforward pricing. Ensure the cloud provider can bake in features such as high availability and reporting to ease your management task. And finally, make sure you can explain the pricing model to your manager because believe me, you’ll be asked to sooner or later.

By Dante Orsini, SVP of Business Development, iland
Source Business Cloud News

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