… solving problems. When an MSP is brought into the cloud conversation, we gain the benefit of understanding the intricacies of the client’s environment and the challenges they face, allowing us to establish a stronger value proposition and solidify the client relationship.
MR: If you approach every customer opportunity as a three-stage digital transformation and have vendor partners who can help, you become a trusted adviser. The stages are: Stage 1 — Strategy, build and migration. This is the stage where customers have decided they want to move to the cloud and require help with application assessments, refactoring, and migration readiness and planning. Stage 2 — The customer has moved an application into the public cloud and now they need to identify who will take care of security; compliance; [around-the-clock] monitoring; and incident response, patching and backups. Stage 3 — With the application running in the cloud, it’s time to look at cost optimization, compliance and security, as well as DevOps and containers.
CP: What are the key steps MSPs need to take in order to take advantage of the benefits big cloud providers can provide?
MB: They need to know the nuances of each provider and have certifications in at least two hyperscalers. They also need a strong dev team to refactor, reliable service, and immutable infrastructure and microservices, and they need to be great communicators.
AH: Education and awareness. Cloud providers give MSPs the opportunity to capitalize on their services in different ways and they provide the tools and support they need to build offerings that sell. Once the time and effort have been made to build a practice around the cloud, messaging is critical. Clients and reseller channels need to be aware of the offering and why they should trust an MSP with their cloud initiatives.
MR: There are hundreds of MSPs in the market saying they can help customers with their public-cloud journey. It’s very confusing to customers. It’s important for MSPs to help customers understand where their expertise is and which public cloud provider they have expertise with: AWS, Azure, Google, IBM Cloud, Oracle, Alibaba. Being clear about your expertise is even more important when customers are looking for a single MSP to handle their multi cloud environments.
CP: What is one thing you would like the audience to take away from your panel?
MB: Bringing the MSP is the missing puzzle piece to the solution. Clients won’t be able to continue scaling talent and keep up with products, especially as they start moving workloads between public clouds.
AH: The need for large-scale cloud is growing in organizations of all sizes. New and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) are powered by these clouds. As the channel shifts towards these emerging technologies, it’s important to know how to get involved in the conversation.
MR: Gartner says public cloud is growing. In 2019, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will grow [nearly 28] percent and reach $39.5 billion. MSPs have identified the value of creating solutions around public cloud providers and have been offering services for years. The agent channel is missing out on revenue opportunities by not having multiple MSP public cloud vendors on their line card and being comfortable having the conversation with their customers about their public cloud needs.