Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jignesh Solanki, Destiny Bertucci, Daniel Gordon

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
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
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.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
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...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
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...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
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...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...