Selecting a Cloud Desktops Provider

Kelly Teal**Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the Digital Issue, “
Virtualizing Desktops in the Cloud ,” which is available for download from Channel Partners Cloud Insights .**

There are several possible paths for deploying cloud desktops, also known as hosted virtual desktops (HVD) or desktops-as-a-service (DaaS). Your customers need help figuring out which options suit them best. This is where the right cloud desktops service provider can make all the difference. Here are some tips for choosing the appropriate HVD supplier.

Sales Support. When your customers are considering DaaS, they have to know that those platforms will perform better than traditional local PCs, said Mike Dillon, CTO of Quest. So, he said, look for a DaaS provider that can help you answer customer questions regarding costs as well as server, network or control issues.

A good provider also should help you identify the type of virtual desktop opportunity the customer represents, and spot any gaps or limitations in your customers IT environment, Dillon added. “The right virtual desktop services provider will be able to propose forward-looking, cost-efficient remediation as well as recognize any related opportunities to be exploited, such as desktop management services, data storage/backup/replication upgrades, migration services, security improvements, etc,” he said.

Breadth of Offer. Look for a service provider that has the breadth and flexibility to deliver DaaS in multiple ways, using top-notch technologies, said Dillon. “This kind of service provider has the expertise and means to provide local virtual desktop solutions as well as cloud-based DaaS data center capabilities in all the regions, countries and continents where your customers operate,” he said.

High Performance. Make sure you are recommending a solid provider. “Excellent performance can be measured easily,” said Saad Shahzad, chief strategy officer at dinCloud, noting resellers should consult reports from research firms that have put DaaS providers into a lab environment and run tests on application load and boot times. The resulting analysis will rank providers on their performance.

Migration Support. “One component of the journey to the cloud that gets overlooked is migration,” said Shahzad. “Your service provider should be willing to step in and help with planning and migration support.”

Customer Service. The best way to test a provider’s claims for customer service is to become a customer yourself, said Shahzad. In other words, sign up with the vendor for your internal IT requirements as a proof of concept. “Once youre using the DaaS vendor, your sales team will do a much better job reselling it,” he added.

Trial Offer. Similarly, the right HVD provider should offer options for your customers to try before they buy, said Quest’s Dillon.

Channel Friendly. Look for a service provider interested in a long-term relationship with you not in stealing your customer, said Dillon, noting the right service provider will share revenue, including cloud service subscription revenue, not just the first time but every time.

Channel Tools. dinCloud’s Shahzad said partners should also look for a provider that offers access to a management portal that allows the reseller to orchestrate the cloud environment for their customers as well as white-label options. In tandem, this allows resellers to demonstrate significant value to their end customers through provisioning, moves, adds, changes, etc. “This better positions resellers to retain their end customers in a very competitive channel market,” he said. “They are no longer just a vendor, but a trusted cloud partner and adviser for their end customers.”

Kelly Teal is senior editor of Channel Partners.




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