“Complexity is your enemy … It is hard to make something simple.”
– Richard Branson –
As an MSP/ VAR, times are becoming more complex.
A few observations we can agree on:
- Technology is meant to help customers, but it is only getting more complex.
- Competition to deliver IT services is increasing.
- Technical resources that understand cloud are exceedingly more costly to acquire and retain.
So the natural move is to establish cloud services and get into a subscription based business for monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Not only does this increase the valuation for the business as a ‘service provider’ but it enhances the relationship between the trusted IT advisor and customer, to an entity that is helping manage the operations for the customer and not just advising them.
Should you Build a Data Center for Cloud?
If you are offering deskside support, helpdesk, break-fix, it may seem a natural progression to “own” the data center to provide these cloud services.
Option 1: Build a Facility
You can lease some space, build an entire heating and cooling, power redundant facility with N+2 internet connectivity, then buy a bunch of hardware and start to offer cloud services. If you think of those Trip Advisor reviews with the dollar signs, this is the $$$$ option. So let’s move on because not only is this expensive, but it is also extremely time consuming and risky.
Option 2: Co-Locate in a Data Center
Instead of getting into the business of building data centers, you can find numerous data center providers and co-locate with them. In this case, the process of renting space, leasing hardware and plugging into a data center provider’s redundancy and internet connectivity is simplified. You are still designing the architecture, maintaining the hardware, and responsible for rolling out the software to manage the cloud. While the hard costs of buying and leasing the equipment, the software, the manufacturer premier support seem like they offer an opportunity at a good margin, but the time it takes to roll it out, the risk of choosing the right platform, and the risk of needing to upgrade technology regularly erode that margin fairly quickly. Cloud skills are expensive, and maintaining a data center in this scenario can drain focus and ability to be agile in a marketplace that is only just beginning to take off. There are many disruptions that can still occur in this industry – so if you choose to hold the bag, you will want to carefully assess the risk and reward.
Option 3: Ride on top of a Public Cloud Provider
There are a few giants in the industry that provide public cloud services and also have a form of partner program. So it seems simple enough to sign up as a partner, and then start reselling the services to customers. They might also offer the software to manage the cloud. The aim of public cloud providers is to recruit as many resellers as they can, aside from direct customers – so your offering is hardly differentiated among other resellers or the direct offering from the public cloud provider. The only differentiation is at the point of your services – which may be good but they are intangible, and harder for a customer to distinguish a good provider from one that isn’t as good.
Option 4: Partner with a Hosted Private Cloud
Obviously, this is the option where you can partner directly with dinCloud. You can read more about it on our Partner Page in terms of the different partner programs. Here are a few reasons why this option should at least make your short-list:
- We’ve done the work to offer a redundant network and data center platform
- There’s no data center maintenance, hardware replacement, warranty headaches for you or your customers
- You can access a customizable cloud console for yourself and your customers to control their private cloud
- You can choose from multiple programs depending on how involved you want to be in customer on-boarding
- We offer hand-holding throughout the entire process, to augment and support your services
- You’ll have a differentiated offering and margin
Easy to Validate a Hosted Private Cloud
The decision of which path to take isn’t inconsequential. There are a lot of considerations that might make a risky option seem worthwhile. So we offer you this suggestion – while building a data center takes time, and co-locating takes a big commitment, signing up with dinCloud and bringing a few customers is a low risk way to refine your cloud go to market offering. Time to market is rapid; there is a lot of co-selling support and hand holding to on-board your customers – things that you’d have to figure out on your own with the big public clouds. So we invite you to make a connection. We’re here, standing by to help you and your customers have a smooth and effortless experience in the cloud.