The Problem With Cloud Service Providers

Tim AllenBy Tim Allen

Khali Hendersons recent article, The Rise of the Cloud Integrator,” sparked a lot of discussion and debate among our team and partners. While there is little doubt that the rise of the cloud integrator is taking place in fact, we are involved in this process, particularly with several of those organizations quoted in the article it is occurring because most cloud providers are singular in their product focus. The proof was on the Channel Partners Expo floor in Las Vegas. There were many HPBX companies; a few hosted-server companies; fewer hosted-desktop companies; and, of course, the usual carriers with me too” offerings and shiny new cloud marketing. 

The IDC analyst in Khalis piece (and many of the other sources, for that matter) says that there are “no complete solutions available in the cloud.” That, by definition, tells the marketplace that everything has to be pieced together and that the channel hasn’t figured out how to deliver truly integrated solutions. As a result, there’s this huge opportunity (indeed, need) for cloud integrators to come in and make all of these disparate solutions talk to each other and operate as one.

Given the current state of the industry, this might be true. But companies want to consolidate as many services as possible under one provider. A recent survey of SMBs by Microsoft proves this. The survey found that 56 percent of small-to-medium-sized organizations prefer a single source for their IT, and many want a mix of applications and infrastructure sources.

Thats why we started Evolve IP to consolidate and provide several critical functions as one unified solution. The integration of the applications, infrastructure, and security that organizations need should be bundled together so that companies can truly stop spending time, energy, and money on integrating multiple third parties. The focus of the business should be on how it is going to migrate to the cloud to realize its benefits.

Unfortunately, most businesses dont have sufficient acumen to make decisions on how to move to the cloud, migrate their data, and ensure that the business realizes the benefits it seeks. This is where we see the role of the cloud integrator and the channel helping businesses build the bridge from the premise to the cloud.

We encourage customers and partners alike to ask vendors the hard questions to fully understand what is the responsibility of the service provider and that of the customer. Take nothing for granted as this information will be crucial to plug the integration gaps and ensure success.

Tim Allen is chief sales officer for Evolve IP, a cloud-based technology provider, and blogger at Cloud IQ. Please visit for more information.

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