Every cloud provider (and customer) knows that in order to meet the demands of today’s marketplace we need the latest technology for performance, uptime, security and integration. Partners and customers are looking for the latest in tools for provisioning, environment tuning, technical monitoring and communication. These are table stakes in order to be relevant, earn business in a fast-paced competitive space and create a great cloud experience.
All of these factors can be gauged to some degree – and like consumers doing online shopping – the numbers and measurements can be formally or informally bundled into actual or mental scorecards that aid decision making in choosing the right cloud partner. It is like clicking a “compare” button searching for the best bluetooth speaker, cell phone or even a new car.
While this is understandably part of the selection process, it is ignoring perhaps the most critical part of the process: the people with whom you choose to do business. Time and time again we talk to potential partners and customers who, while they certainly may have technology issues, typically find that it is the people issues surrounding the cloud that cause the disconnection.
In addition to technology and performance, here are four “people” considerations you should look for in a cloud services partner:
1.) How is the cloud provider going to learn my business and understand what may be coming down the road or risks to look for? If you are a CFO this means anticipating increased needs during closing of the books. For a manufacturer it could be good support during an upgrade on the shop floor, and for a retailer it could be lots of planning and attention during black Friday and Cyber Monday.
2.) Who is going to help us migrate to the new cloud provider? From the first conversation, a partner needs strong project owners to set and communicate a plan that combines your unique needs with a proven methodology to make the move seamless and the process less risky. Getting off to a great start in the cloud helps ensure a smooth ride.
3.) What level of engagement will I have with the leadership of my cloud partner? It should be the prerogative of any customer to connect with the people who help set the direction of the cloud company and understand their strategy as part of the beginning of what will become a long-term partnership. This could be a quarterly review, time together in the on-boarding process or even joining a formal advisory council.
4.) What are the people we are going to work with like? What is their background? Do they listen? Does the cloud provider have high turnover? How are they trained on an ongoing basis? Are they empowered to take care of our needs? Do they like what they do every day?
Concerto invests significant amounts of time and money ensuring that we deliver the latest technology and best performance to our partners and customers. However, we know that without the dedication to developing our talent, teamwork, training and culture we will be just be another listing on the compare button.
People matter more than ever – we look forward to getting to know you and your business.
By Steve Terp, President of Concerto Cloud Services
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