Cloud-Reluctant Customers: Do You Walk Away?

By Gary Schick

Thus far, much of cloud computing has been coin-operated.” Put in your quarter and out comes X amount of real-time data storage or Y period of email service, forms analysis, payroll processing, etc. The payoff: an affordable OpEx transaction that instantly delivers. So easy, so hassle-free as long as you fit in the box of offerings available from the cloud provider.

But what about those customers that dont fit or that arent willing to accept the trade-off between affordable-instant-easy transactions and what they perceive to be loss of control over their data and processes do you just walk away?

Youd be making a terrible mistake to assume these apparently cloud-reluctant customers are beyond your reach. Often, the problem isnt that they object to the cloud they simply dont like commodity clouds. So if you want their business, you need to find a cloud provider able to adapt and even customize cloud services.

This sort of cloud provider is an interesting breed. Not unlike a telecom agent who seeks to provide customers a breadth and depth, service and IT capability, these providers distinguish themselves through two key elements:

  1. An ability to build customized cloud environments. These range from building and delivering local cloud services on the customers site to fully outsourced and customized solutions in the cloud, utilizing work flows and processes defined by the customer not the cloud provider.
  2. A depth of IT service and solution capability. Cloud services are addictive. Once your customer gets one up and running, they often find themselves needing more capability and then more. For you, this creates opportunity as well as a challenge, both of which a cloud provider can help you with.

A good cloud provider will be able to spot opportunities you may not even realize are there. And if your customer is already comfortable with this provider, then youre spared the challenge of another set of introductions. Whats more, the right cloud provider will make it easy for your customer to combine service and solution contracts into one overarching service level agreement that will simplify management.

Theres a third, final element to keep in mind as you search out the right cloud provider: fairness. The right cloud provider will offer you recurring commissions a piece of your customers monthly recurring revenue.

Gary Schick is director of sales


, with direct responsibility for partner sales, growth and customer satisfaction. He brings more than 30 years technology sales, management and channel leadership experience to this role. Prior to joining Quest, Schick worked in sales and management positions at Netigy, Amerivox, Epson and Toshiba. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and is a member of

the 2012-13 Channel Partners Advisory Board.

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