Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

How to Find the Right Cloud Services Partner: Five Tips for Success

The steady growth in the cloud sector offers an excellent opportunity for companies that provide IT services to all businesses

The cloud services sector is growing rapidly, particularly in the public cloud space. Market analyst IDC estimates that global spending on public cloud services will top $47 billion this year and more than double by 2017 to reach $107 billion. The analyst attributes this growth in part to a shift in focus from savings to innovation: The first wave of cloud adoption was driven by end users' need to reduce costs and increase efficiency, whereas the next wave will focus on leveraging cloud services to expand company offerings and improve competitive positions. As the market is shaping up, both end-user companies and cloud service resellers are poised to be beneficiaries of a growing cloud services market.

Another trend in the cloud services industry is the emergence of a partnership-based delivery model: increasingly, companies that provide technical services to businesses are looking for partners with cloud delivery expertise so that they can deliver cloud services as resellers. Gartner estimates that by 2016, at least 20% of total cloud services will be delivered by partners rather than via direct purchases from vendors, a fivefold increase over current rates. This makes sense from a business standpoint - companies that provide IT services to businesses rightly want to focus on their core competencies to succeed in a highly competitive economy. They are looking for cloud experts as partners to round out their portfolio of offerings.

If you're the leader of an IT company in the market for a cloud partner to broaden your service portfolio, it's important to make sure you team up with a provider who can competently handle cloud services delivery so that you can focus on the activities that differentiate your company in the marketplace. Here are some tips to help you find that ideal cloud services partner:

  1. Enterprise-class capabilities: Assessing the core proficiencies and infrastructure of potential partners should be your top priority. Make sure they can deliver on-demand scalability and allow you to seamlessly increase capacity for your customers as demand spikes. For example, if you're considering a partnership to enable you to resell cloud infrastructure services, look for features like user-configurable firewalls and load balancing, IP address management, image cloning and snapshots, managed backup and other enterprise-class capabilities. Also make sure the partner offers the service and expertise to back it all up.
  2. Industry experience: With the cloud services market growing so rapidly, new cloud services vendors are springing up to try to cash in. Look for a partner with a track record of success in the industry, a company that has successfully provided cloud services to customers of all sizes. Take a look at prospective partners' customer lists, and ask for references. Find out if they have achieved hosting partner status with an industry leader like Microsoft.
  3. Compliance and security capabilities: Safe data management is a crucial issue in any industry, but for companies with customers who handle financial or medical records transactions, robust compliance capabilities are a must. Make sure your cloud services partner offers the HIPAA and PCI compliance solutions your customers need. Also look for cloud service partners who can prove that their data centers are compliant; make sure the partner performs well in compliance tests such as SSAE 16 audits.
  4. Portfolio compatibility: As the trend toward a partnership-based delivery model suggests, next-generation IT service delivery is about focusing on what you do best. To find the right cloud services partner, evaluate prospective partners' portfolios and compare them to your company's capabilities. Look for a partner who can help you fill in the gaps and round out your portfolio so that you can offer customers a one-stop solution.
  5. Customer ownership: When you work with a partner to deliver services to customers, it's important to establish upfront who owns the customer relationships. Some companies prefer to make the partnership as transparent as possible, while others would rather own the customer relationship, presenting branded cloud services to their clients. Make sure you understand partner expectations, and look for partners who allow automation and customization.

The steady growth in the cloud sector offers an excellent opportunity for companies that provide IT services to businesses of all types and sizes. The technology community is evolving toward a collaborative service delivery model that has the potential to significantly increase the quality of services as well as end-user satisfaction as all players in the delivery chain focus on their core areas of expertise.

The key to making this new service delivery environment work is to forge effective partnerships. IT companies that are looking to expand their portfolio offerings to include cloud services should therefore carefully consider all relevant factors before selecting a cloud service partner. By finding the right partner, they can ensure success for themselves - and their customers.

More Stories By Todd Benjamin

Todd Benjamin is Vice President of Hosted Serves at Hostway Corporation. He came to Hostway in 2008 with 18 years of executive experience in the technology and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining Hostway, he was president and CEO of Rodopi Software, Inc., a provider of next-generation financial and automation software solutions for the Internet industry. Previously, he held executive-level positions in sales, marketing, finance, and corporate development with several software, technology, and service provider organizations. Mr. Benjamin holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from UCLA, as well as a Bachelor of Sciences in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Washington.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.