… to help you in the cloud. Removing process friction can help you become more agile for your customers.
6 Things for MSPs to Consider When Selecting Cloud Service Vendors
The channel is increasingly trying to capitalize on the hot cloud business opportunity. To make sure your organization is successful in developing a cloud practice, or expanding its cloud practice, factor these six essential elements into your decision-making process:
- Pricing. Margins matter and profit is essential to a successful cloud strategy. When selecting cloud solutions to add to your service suite, make double-digit margins a priority, right after capabilities and ease of use. You can do this by partnering with a cloud-focused distributor that understands your business goals and can help you vet cloud vendors. They will give you the tools you need to fuel your profits.
- Multi-customer Management. Beyond offering your wish list of features and tools, cloud solutions need to be easy to deploy and maintain across your customer base. Push for cloud solutions that offer MSP management consoles capable of giving you visibility and management of multiple customers with a single login. Make sure your team has a chance to test the solution to make sure it’s a good fit for your current ecosystem and easy to manage multiple customers from a central management console.
- Automated Central Billing. You can find the most feature-rich, easy-to-implement cloud solution, but if it doesn’t provide you with a clean way to manage the billing and usage surrounding your new offering, it’s going to add an unnecessary administrative burden to your team. Top cloud solutions integrate with common billing platforms and automate much of the billing process saving you time and headaches so that you can do something more productive with your time.
- Self-serve Portal. Customers’ admins need a way to perform essential functions without you — and without leaving you out of the loop. A self-serve portal can empower your customer’s IT admin to order or try cloud products, provision licenses, make incremental updates and track current subscription counts. Look for self-serve portals from vendors or cloud distributors that have delegated admin privileges so that you can configure them to fit your business model and cloud delivery processes.
- Unified Management. Automate and aggregate provisioning with a unified management console. Look for cloud-distributor partners who offer a unified cloud management console. With just a few clicks, this capability enables you to provision an entire stack of cloud services for your customer from one place. In addition, you’ll also get real-time dashboard visibility into product usage and customer-account information across your entire customer base.
- Sales and Support Assistance. Ensure that the cloud vendor or distributor you choose can deliver on-demand sales assistance and 24/7 support. Customer business needs arise in an instant and emergencies happen. You’ll want to know you can get the help you need when you need it or when something goes wrong. Your reputation will depend on it. Therefore, select cloud vendors or distributors who can be as responsive as your customers need you to be.
Ryan Walsh is senior vice president of partner solutions at Pax8. He has more 15 years of experience helping channel partners build successful cloud practices by enabling them to easily sell, bill, and support cloud subscription services.
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