So: your business is going to offer cloud services in addition to helping customers build their own IT infrastructures. Cloud services certainly seem like a ‘no-brainer’ if you have the physical assets in place – and it’s a growing market. But how do you see yourself in your new role; as a canny warehouse owner, or a sophisticated host?
Because many customers are looking for more than a ‘click and buy’ cloud services solution, for all they may be demanding that level of simplicity. And they want to be sure that where they store or save all that business critical ‘stuff’ – such as their databases, emails, back-ups and data in general – is safe, secure, legal and always, ALWAYS, available, from now until eternity. And they are also looking for a service.
To be the ‘host with the most’ takes more than room of servers, a network, a bit of virtualization, a good licensing deal and an impressive web portal. You need to be able to honestly and clearly answer six key questions:
Is it 100% secure (and more)?
Is it stable (all the time, regardless of what else might be going on in the world)?
What service support is available (if I call you at 2am, will I get an answer)?
What SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) can you guarantee?
Can you support our systems (without us having to invest in new kit)?
Is it the solution for us (what regulatory issues may be impacted)?
Cloud services aren’t an easy option; trust is as much a key requirement as it is in a more traditional, on-site sale/build opportunity. And building your business as a trusted brand will be increasingly critical to building a successful cloud services business model. It only takes one, teeny, ‘technical glitch’ to destroy your brand equity and lose trust.
So make sure before you begin, that you build an infrastructure where you can answer all of the above with confidence. Brocade can help - our Ethernet fabric technology and Brocade Network Subscription solution should both be things you consider in your planning. Because the confidence of your customers is going to be key.