Centre d’abonnement

Des informations en temps réel du chef de file de l'industrie TI.
Photo of four business professionals gathered around a small table

Cloud Integrator Services Set MSPs Apart From Competitors

30 Sep 2015 by Howard M Cohen

Customers look for one of two major differentiators when shopping for cloud services —   either the low-price leader or the reliability leader. Since the first is uninteresting, hardly lucrative and not difficult, the focus needs to be on how to establish a reputation for reliability. Plus, add a selection of services that allow customers to customize the solution to their needs and budget.

The only way to sustain a business and be the low-price leader is to also be the “low-cost” leader, and the only way to assure being the low-cost leader is to invest as little as possible.  The lowest possible investment also usually results in the lowest possible reliability, since what you’ll skimp on first is redundant systems to assure uptime.

The sustainability becomes somewhat illusory as customers start realizing that “cheap is cheap,” and they get what they pay for.

Applying to the broker, buy, build decision

Like any smart business, IT service providers seek to differentiate themselves from their competition. Many believe that building their own cloud service infrastructure is the best way to accomplish this, because they can build something that is dramatically different and better than what anyone else builds.

Often, nothing could be further from the truth.

Before we start throwing around claims of three nines or five nines, let’s gain some perspective from the actual numbers achieved by the premier cloud service vendors.  According to a January 2015 article in Network World, Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered only 2.41 hours of compute service downtime in all of 2014, a total of 99.9974% uptime — just short of five nines. Given that the AWS infrastructure is five times larger than any of its competitors’, that’s very impressive. By comparison, Microsoft Azure was down for 39.77 hours, Rackspace for 7.52 hours and Google for 4.46 hours.

Before you build your own cloud infrastructure, seriously ask yourself what it would cost you to be able to exceed these achievements. Then determine if you could price sufficiently to be profitable with that cost base. 

Integrating with consistent, capable cloud services

Most IT service providers have grown up in an environment where multi-vendor integration has been the rule. Seldom does any integrator offer a single-vendor solution. Servers come from one vendor, routers and switches from another, software from others. The value-add from the integrator is based on the know-how it takes to most effectively integrate these divergent components into a superior solution.

In the age of the cloud, we’ve seen many of the services that integrators used to deploy on customer sites be delivered from various other data centers. Some of these data centers are large and well-resourced, and others are small businesses with limited resources. Reliability varies.

What we’re witnessing now is the rise of the cloud integrator, whose expertise lies in identifying the most reliable, efficient cloud services from the most reliable, trustworthy cloud service vendors, and integrating them to work well together to deliver even more superior solutions at even lower cost to the customer. That combination of lower cost and higher reliability is the foundation of the compelling value proposition of cloud computing.

The skills required to be a successful cloud integrator include the ability to effectively evaluate the reliability and efficiency of each cloud service vendor to make the best selections, along with the technical skills required to fulfill the security and performance requirements of each. Ultimately, this gives the cloud integrator a far greater breadth of services to offer their customers.

Partnering to speed cloud integrator services

With years of experience evaluating, selecting, integrating and deploying a vast selection of cloud services on a global basis, Insight is the ideal partner for IT service providers who wish to add “cloud integrator” to their service catalogs. You’ll find that much of the heavy lifting has already been done for you, which will speed your progress toward success in this fast-growing, competitive market. Call us today to talk about your plan, and how we can help you achieve it at 1.800.INSIGHT.