Everyone knows that Cloud Services will play an increasingly significant part in the Channel’s future, yet there remains a host of uresolved issues and questions to be answered in the minds of many when it comes to selling, managing and importantly making a margin as a Reseller. Michael Davies, Head of Product Management at MDNX, explodes the myths and sets the record straight.
Lower total cost of ownership will ultimately be the primary justification that drives customers towards Cloud Services and away from traditional approaches to network infrastructure, and these lower costs are delivered via a variety of benefits which reveal the real advantages of the Cloud. To start with, migration to the Cloud will significantly reduce the hardware investment required over the medium and long term. Improved utilisation will reduce the costs associated with server space, power, administration and onsite security, in some cases by up to 50 per cent. And the flexibility and above all scalability of Cloud Services will make growth far easier and cheaper to accommodate and plan for.
There are other significant benefits beyond cost savings. For example businesses will benefit from a managed service with known charges, and more granular costs of scaling. And IT staff can concentrate on core busines critical activities and new application implementation rather than spending their time keeping the serviers running.
Of course doubters often counter these compelling selling features by raising the spectre of trust and risk. Logically as well as psychologically, users have problems with the concept of releasing business critical applications from their physical control and into the ether that is the Public Cloud. which is where a customer builds its own cloud infrastructure and therefore mantains control, doesn’t deliver the economic benefits that shared infrastructure achieves. In reality less risk often exists with cloud computing, because the scale of cloud infrastructure allows business applications to be run in a more secure and resilient environment than could be created in-house unless substantial investment is made. At MDNX we believe that the future, particularly for customers with dispersed multiple locations, lies in the Virtual Private Cloud, which gives a customer private access to a shared infrastructure and thus offers the best of all worlds – specialist managed network services and a physical, tangible place where applications run and users can see, touch, and even visit. In other words all the virtual benefits of utilisation, scalability, performance and savings combined with the reassurance of an expertly managed service.
The added value MDNX can bring to cloud computing via our managed network services expertise and carrier integration capapbilities is significant. Replacing disparate and duplicated IT resources with centralised and resilient computing environments, made possible by virtualisation services is, after all, only half the story. The most compelling customer solutions are created by integrating carrier networks to provide the highest performance and optimal cost network designs.
But how does a customer become “Cloud Ready”? In common with conventional application and data migration challenges the process should be planned, the business case proven and the options assessed. Non-critical applications such as storage are usually migrated first with business critical functions following only once access, security and performance concerns are overcome.
So why should channel partners engage with Cloud Services? We believe there are three principal reasons:
• They create “sticky” long term customer relationships which make it easier for resellers to develop and sell in ancillary services such as security, conectivity and voice
• They provide the perfect opportunity for Resellers to provide cosultancy and ongoing service management.
• They’re a “use it or lose it” opportunity! Customers will migrate to the Cloud and if their existing Reseller can’t add value to the process, they’ll find a competitor who will. And the latter will benefit from all the associated upsell and cross sell opportunities.