This article was originally published on The VAR Guy.
The growth of cloud services is driving a massive appetite for reliable and secure connections. Current spending on cloud services and managed hosting is more than $180 billion. By 2018, IDC FutureScape predicts at least half of IT spending will be cloud based. VARs and MSPs that are watching their traditional hardware-based margins shrink should consider that by selling cloud connectivity solutions, they are replacing lost revenue or even creating a net add.
Offering private cloud connections is one of the biggest market opportunities for VARs and MSPs to capture sales. Private cloud connects are a connectivity solution that provide high-performance and reliability through a private, end-to-end connection between the user and the cloud environment. Without competition for bandwidth from other user applications, cloud connects improve application performance and overall productivity by adding a secure, controlled and specified delivery. Reliable technology being put into circuits improves margin, not just for the VAR or MSP selling it, but for the customer improving network efficiency and creating a better end-user experience. This is a value play; a customer is willing to pay for network improvement from their technology consultant.
The best news for VARs and MSPs looking to leverage cloud connects to maximize revenue is that companies of almost any size can be candidates for cloud connectivity. Most organizations grapple with one or more challenges partners can use as selling points, including:
- Security, control and performance in the cloud
- Integration with multiple cloud vendors and hosting environments
- Requirements for end-to-end performance, SLA guarantees and analysis for network performance
- Deployment of various applications to provide required business outcomes
Your customers are already using a wide variety of cloud applications and environments like Salesforce, Oracle and SAP, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and NetSuite, not to mention a complex environment of both off the shelf cloud applications and perhaps custom developed software. Being able to configure bandwidth by individual application not only simplifies the delivery of quality service, but also improves performance and productivity, provides greater visibility into the network and adds more security and control.
Many MSPs that already manage the network and—having helped them migrate to the cloud—understand their customers’ existing business challenges, can certainly appreciate the importance of packaging cloud connectivity with their existing portfolio of services. Providing private connects doesn’t just increase ease of management; it allows for a more robust solution offering to the customer. Even for companies that host their own applications across multiple environments, private cloud connections help by simplifying and reducing the time involved to manage the network. New technology for improved access to cloud environments helps sell the circuit. VARs and MSPs already “in” with their customers can easily sell connectivity, the value proposition being added intelligence and the offsetting of maintenance responsibility into the network, freeing up internal resources.
Private cloud connectivity utilizing a single port flattens the network, freeing up IT resources to focus on other business initiatives rather than managing a complicated traditional WAN circuit network. Cloud connect circuits are not sold on price. The customer is more interested in speed of delivery, end-user experience and business growth because data is the differentiator for the future.
VARs and MSPs need to educate their customers on cloud connectivity, their options and effectively what it means for the business. The solution itself helps to simplify that discussion as cloud connects help center the conversation around business outcomes. As companies move critical business systems to the cloud, they will almost always underestimate the amount of bandwidth required for optimum performance. Lead the client through benefits like performance and security and use vendor resources to explain a direct end-to-end connection versus that of Public IP, Ethernet Private Lines or MPLS. It’s important to remember that your client is more interested in solid network strategy and optimal delivery of applications than with price. Your customers want a quality design and solid advice based on your qualified history and the technology discussions you’ve more than likely already have had.
As more customers utilize cloud, VARs and MSPs that adapt will capitalize on new high-growth markets, recognizing the value of recurring revenue streams. VARs and MSPs should be integrating a new sales model that includes the circuit, application, hardware and consulting as a total package. The end user is looking for a single point of contact. It might as well be you.
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About the Author
Doug Deetz is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TBI. Deetz builds and strengthens the sales process while developing advantageous relationships between partners, carriers and TBI. His extensive industry experience includes over 30 years in enterprise, SMB and indirect channel sales management and sales cycle strategy. Deetz currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Team for a managed service provider, and recognizes the importance of collaboration between all parties. You can connect with Doug on LinkedIn.