THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPOChannel PartnersVol. 2, Issue 10, OCT 2012 | $5.99 UScha...
CONTENTS                                                                                                                  ...
The AT&T cloud.                            Securely at your customers’ commands.                             AT&T cloud so...
ADVANTAGEOUS LIAISONS:                                   EDITORS LETTER                                                   ...
MORE THAN A DISTRIBUTION  PARTNER. WE’RE YOUR CATALYST FOR SUCCESS.Discover how we can help you explore  growth opportunit...
CLOUD                                                            DefiningCA NL HN E                                       ...
ACS Services, founded in 1987 as an IT VAR is now also                                                              CLOUD ...
Let’s get this cloudon the roadClients need, want and will pay good money for the cloud they need, when theywant it. Which...
There is a third capability that qualifies one as a cloud                                                              CLO...
Motorola Solutions PartnerEmpower™ ProgramMAKE THE MOSTOF OPPORTUNITYToday is another opportunity to close the big deal. T...
Differentiating                                                                   Cloud                                   ...
Cloud computing may be economical for a consumer, but it is expensive to                                                  ...
Better   Cloud computing.   Mobility.  Security.Get the story at  juniper.net
in the development of cloud services. Verizon bought Terremark for its host-                                              ...
///By Jo Peterson & Manon Buettner                                                                           t           T...
Be A LeaderIn Cloud.Become A PartOf CTTA Today. The Cloud and Technology Transformation Alliance (CTTA) – formerly the Clo...
In this article, we will offer background and questions to help                                                           ...
core competency. (CenturyLink’s acquisition                           or environments need to be moved and the            ...
IT                                                                                                                        ...
• Does the provider offer a range of services that can be mixed                                                           ...
• Can the service provider tell you                                                            with certainty where the bu...
IT                                                           CLOUD vs. MANAGED UC                                 M       ...
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice
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For my new partners considering adding Hosted Voice services to their current product portfolio.

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2012 starting a-cloud-service-practice

  1. 1. THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPOChannel PartnersVol. 2, Issue 10, OCT 2012 | $5.99 USchannelpartnersonline.com CLOUD COMPUTING A SPECIAL ALL-DIGITAL,GREEN ISSUE TM Choosing Suppliers + Models IN THIS ISSUE: DEFINING CLOUD CHANNEL BUSINESS MODELS 6 DIFFERENTIATING CLOUD PROVIDERS 11 VETTING A CLOUD PROVIDER 15 5 TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT CLOUD PROVIDER 25 5 SIGNS YOU’VE CHOSEN THE WRONG CLOUD PROVIDER 30
  2. 2. CONTENTS IT ™ M T ELEC O OCT 2012 channelpartnersonline.com 5 11 15 30 OPINION 15 Vetting a Cloud Provider 4 Editor’s Letter: Advantageous By Jo Peterson & Manon Buettner Finding a cloud provider is easy. Finding the Liaisons: Providers & Peers right provider is hard. This article outlines key By Khali Henderson considerations and suggests questions to help A first step to success in the cloud is aligning define your client’s requirements and recognize yourself with the right providers, but keep in | channelpartnersonline.com provider differentiators — both strengths mind that strategic partnerships in the cloud may and shortcomings — so you can help your extend beyond providers to peers that can bring clients reap the benefits of cloud services. complementary skills and supplier relationships. 25 5 Tips for Finding the Right FEATURES Cloud Provider 6 Defining Cloud Channel Business Models By Dina MoskowitzCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 By Rauline Ochs Smart vendor selection will turn into more reliable Solution providers, resellers, managed service long-term recurring revenue. However, there is providers and others that aggregate, integrate or no question that it can be a daunting task unless customize typically do so under the cloud services you tackle it with structure and method. This broker label. This article offers some definitions and article offers a few suggestions for successful examples of the variations on the broker model. and profitable cloud provider selection. 11 Differentiating Cloud Providers 30 5 Signs You’ve Chosen By Lawrence M. Walsh the Wrong Cloud Provider If partnership is the key to cloud channel By Scott Kinka success, understanding the types of providers Picking the right partner is easier said than and their roles is essential. This article defines done. And when it comes to the cloud, it’s the essential cloud players that channel partners hard to tell one provider from the next. But can both align with and compete against. here are five things you must understand to separate the right choice from the wrong one. 2
  3. 3. The AT&T cloud. Securely at your customers’ commands. AT&T cloud solutions are designed to flexibly follow your customers’ commands, all while delivering security most other clouds don’t. The difference is the AT&T network, one of the world’s most reliable, best performing and secure networks. Which means that the AT&T cloud is where your customers need it, when they need it, and adjusts capacity as needed. To see what the AT&T network of possibilities can do for your customers’ businesses, visit att.com/cloud Interested in becoming an AT&T Solution Provider? Visit att.com/alliance for more information. UNLIMITED LIMITED© 2012 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logoand all other AT&T marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T IntellectualProperty and/or AT&T affiliated companies.
  4. 4. ADVANTAGEOUS LIAISONS: EDITORS LETTER PROVIDERS & PEERS I just got an email from the Agent Alliance. You probably read it too. It was a blog from the consortium’s CEO Bill Power about channel partners’ — specifically telecom agents’ — struggle with delivering cloud services. He writes: “They freely admit they’re significantly behind the power curve and are scrambling to catch up to their customers’ interests and demands.” A recent report from Techaisle confirms that a higher percentage of small and medium businesses are asking for cloud services than there are channel partners offering them. So what does an agent do about this? That’s the question Power asks in his blog. “The solution that I hear regularly posed is to rush out and add multiple cloud providers to your portfolio. But how in the world do we determine which providers to add?” That’s what this digital issue is all about — helping channel partners to align yourself with the right providers and to help you find your role in the value chain. We have included definitions about channel cloud business models and potential provider types as well checklists on what to look for in a supplier. Of course this is just a starting place for building your cloud practice. As for Power, the conclusion he and his colleagues at the Agent Alliance have reached is that strategic partnerships in the cloud may extend beyond providers to peers that can bring complementary skills and supplier relationships. Channel Partners agrees with this approach and has been working to facilitate those connections through its Peer-to-Peer Networking and Agent-VAR Partnering initiatives. Both are excellent opportunities to meet with potential allies in the cloud. | channelpartnersonline.com As always, we would welcome your feedback on the content and the digital issue experience. You can contact me at khenderson@vpico.com or MORE INFO//// on Twitter. RESEARCH Enjoy! SMBs Demand More Cloud, Mobility Than Channel SuppliesCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 Partnering Trends Between Telecom and IT Channels 2012 Khali Henderson IMMERSION CENTER Editor-in-Chief @khalihenderson Peer-to-Peer Networking Immersion Center SOURCES: Agent Alliance Techaisle // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Table of Contents p. 2 ■ Defining Cloud Channel Business Models p. 6 4
  5. 5. MORE THAN A DISTRIBUTION PARTNER. WE’RE YOUR CATALYST FOR SUCCESS.Discover how we can help you explore growth opportunities in the cloud. Check out our new video featuring ScanSource, Inc. Chief Technology Officer, Greg Dixon. VIEW CLOUD VIDEO For more information, call 800.790.2029, EXT. 2960 THIS IS A CATALYST FOR CLOUD SOLUTIONS Cloud Affiliations: ABOUT SCANSOURCE, INC. Catalyst Telecom is a sales unit of international specialty technology distributor, ScanSource, Inc. ScanSource, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCSC) operates as a wholesale distributor of specialty technology products, providing distribution sales and services to resellers in the specialtyCATALYSTTELECOM.COM technology markets. The company has two geographic distribution segments: one serving North America and an800.790.2029 EXT. 2160 international segment serving Latin America and Europe.
  6. 6. CLOUD DefiningCA NL HN E Business Models ///By Rauline Ochs A 2012 IPED end-customer sur vey highlighted 43 percent of end-user customer respondents indicated a | channelpartnersonline.com desire to manage the new and emerging telephony and IT computing environment themselves, specifically without the assistance of a cloud services broker. Fifty-seven percent of respondents indicated the cloud services broker role as important especially when three or more cloud services are being consumed or integrated for use by theCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 end customer. The term cloud services broker was introduced by technology research firm Gartner Inc. and is now widely used in the industry. Is it used correctly in the industry? Typically, yes, because the term, cloud services broker, is broad. The cloud services broker role encompasses a wide range of capabilities and services reflecting the complexity of today’s telephony and IT computing environments. Solution providers, resellers, managed service providers (MSPs) and others that aggregate, integrate or customize typically do so under the cloud services broker label. Let’s look at some examples: // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Editor’s Letter p. 4 ■ Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ Table of Contents p. 2 6
  7. 7. ACS Services, founded in 1987 as an IT VAR is now also CLOUD a telephony VAR and an MSP as a result of the acquisition of Idwellings. ACS Services also has the capability to perform INTEGRATOR the role of a cloud services broker for its customers following a significant effort to transform its business over time. ACS Services’ customer offerings are built on server, storage, networking, voice, data, unified communications and white-labeled cloud services to meet customer needs. These include server hosting and patch management, backup disaster recovery (BDR), help desk support, website design, voice, data and VoIP services integrated and customized on a customer-specific service level. ACS vendor partners include: Verizon, Cisco, HP, Dell, EMC, Juniper, Fortinet, Citrix and the Infotech BDR cloud service which they offered initially before hosting BDR in their own data center. ACS integrates the component products through an overall service level agreement taking the integration and management burden from the customer as the broker of the cloud services. This example involves managed and “white-labeled” public cloud services. The integration component also applies to VARs or MSPs that may stand up private clouds, behind the client firewall as well. Cloud Sherpas, a specialist in mail, collaboration and CRM CLOUD applications, is an example of a cloud services broker that can offer data or mail migration then integrate and customize CUSTOMIZER the application environment on a Google Apps sof tware cloud services platform for the customer, taking the technical integration burden from the customer. Similarly, Bluewolf not only offers migration offerings to Salesforce.com with their own intellectual | channelpartnersonline.com proper ty (IP) developed for that purpose, but also implementation customization performed with and as an extension to Salesforce.com. Both Cloud Sherpas and Bluewolf are examples of a new generation of solution providers tagged as “born in the cloud” or “cloud pure-plays” because the business model was built around cloud services application integration or in some cases cloud services resale. The “born in the cloud” or “cloud pure-play” company typically did not transform from a legacy VAR,CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 solution provider, MSP, reseller or other related IT or telephony business. These companies were not in business 20 years ago; they developed around the cloud services ecosystem. // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Editor’s Letter p. 4 ■ Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ Table of Contents p. 2 7
  8. 8. Let’s get this cloudon the roadClients need, want and will pay good money for the cloud they need, when theywant it. Which is now. That’s the beauty of the CA AppLogic® platform, the turnkey cloudcomputing solution that helps you bring revenue-producing services to market quicklyand build margin. Fast.+ FIND OUT how CA Technologies can help you accelerate IT and deploy cloud in minutes instead of months. Visit ca.com/marginwithcloud Speak to a specialist Copyright © 2012 CA. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. There is a third capability that qualifies one as a cloud CLOUD services broker. This is the aggregator capability. I have most often observed the aggregation capability when offered by IT AGGREGATOR distributors or select telephony master agents. Synnex, Ingram Micro and Arrow are examples of distributors who are aggregating cloud services and the necessary processes to assist VARs, MSPs and others to successfully transition from pure on-premises, project-based, resale to service level agreement based recurring revenue. Synnex’s CLOUDSolv offers not only access to SaaS and IaaS public cloud offerings to VARs for resale, but also aggregates those cloud services with the provisioning portal on behalf of the cloud service provider, customer billing processes and accounting systems that understand recurring revenue. In some cases, the aggregator is able to jointly brand the service level administration to the end customer on behalf of the VAR. This aggregation of not only the cloud services, but also the necessary processes and systems enables VARs to offer the solution without building the systems, expertise and capabilities themselves. A telephony-IT cloud example of a similar aggregation of sales support, pricing and provisioning for the actual hosted or cloud-based telephony or IT-based solutions is offered by the CSC division of Intelisys, the master agent. What is unique about this aggregated set of solutions for telephony and IT VARs and MSPs is that it is the only one of which I am aware today that aggregates cloud-based telephony (voice, data, unified communications) and IT (virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), BDR, IaaS, SaaS, etc.) for a true end-to-end set of telephony and cloud-based offerings to support the model demonstrated by ASC Systems and their willingness to cross sell telephony and IT to the end customer. As you consider your company’s path forward in the new cloud ecosystem, your integration, customization or aggregation capabilities are the critical value- add to your end customers, especially when more than three cloud services are consumed. Equally important is your choice of service provider with whom | channelpartnersonline.com to team. Rauline Ochs is a member of the IPED channel research, consulting and training arm of MORE INFO//// UBM C h a n n e l th e p u b l is h e r ARTICLESCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 of C o m p ute r R e s e l l e r N ews Cloud Driving Need (CRN). Prior to IPED, she served for Multidimensional Channels as Oracle’s senior vice president, Nor th American alliances and channels and senior The Rise of the vice president of worldwide alliances for Cloud Integrator BEA Systems. Ochs began her career with BLOG 15 years at the IBM Corp., ultimately rising Everyone Wants a to vice president, Americas software chan- Piece of the Cloud nel sales and marketing. She was named SOURCES CRN Channel Executive of the Year 2007, IPED top Channel Executives and Most Influential Women in the Channel 2005 through 2007. Gartner Inc. // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Editor’s Letter p. 4 ■ Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ Table of Contents p. 2 9
  10. 10. Motorola Solutions PartnerEmpower™ ProgramMAKE THE MOSTOF OPPORTUNITYToday is another opportunity to close the big deal. To setyourself apart from competitors. To build long-lastingrelationships with customers. To bring true innovation toburgeoning markets. Are you ready?As a member of the Motorola Solutions PartnerEmpower™ To get more information, visit us atProgram, you will be. PartnerEmpower provides a path www.motorolasolutions.com/to business growth through access to our top-ranked partnerempowermobility and communications products, tools that help youdrive sales, and the backing of a vendor that highly valuesits channel.Team with Motorola Solutions today. Together, we canachieve new levels of success while helping customers risein the moments that matter.MOTOROLA, MOTO, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS and the Stylized M Logo are trademarks or registeredtrademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. All other trademarks arethe property of their respective owners. ©2012 Motorola Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. 
  11. 11. Differentiating Cloud Providers ///By Lawrence M. Walsh E nterprises already are spending as much as one-third of their IT budgets on cloud computing products and ser- vices, according to IDC enterprise research. Better yet, cloud’s proportion of business IT budgets is increasing 15 | channelpartnersonline.com percent year over year and will continue to do so for the next three to five years. At this rate, cloud will make up more than 50 percent of the average business IT budget by 2015. The channel is increasingly incorporating cloud computing prod- ucts and services as part of their portfolios. Software-, infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service are already part of the channel partner’s repertoire. So, too, is the data center virtualized as a private cloud,CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 hosted virtual servers and managed applications. Yet, according to the Cloud & Technology Transformation Alliance, a joint research venture by The 2112 Group and Channel Partners, most channel partners earn less than 10 percent of their gross revenue and profit from the sale and support of cloud computing. Finding the right sales and technical talent to operate a cloud business, and understanding and transforming a channel partner business to cloud parameters are the chief obstacles to cloud success. However, these are just indicative of the larger problem facing channel partners: the inability to do everything cloud demands. // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Defining Cloud Channel Business Models p. 6 ■ Vetting a Cloud Provider p. 15 ■ Table of Contents p. 211
  12. 12. Cloud computing may be economical for a consumer, but it is expensive to deliver. To provide a full-blown cloud solution, a channel partner would have to build a data center, acquire software licenses, integrate management and billing applications, hire and train staff, and maintain non-revenue-producing capacity. To enter the cloud, channel partners must team with cloud providers, software vendors and service providers to gain access to resources and expertise. If partnership is the key to cloud channel success, understanding the types of providers and their roles is essential. The following are the essential cloud players that channel partners can both align with and compete against. Cloud Provider: This is a mash-up category of traditional software vendors and born-in-the-cloud service providers. The cloud provider is typically the originator of a cloud service, operating infrastructure, applications and cus- tomer support in one package. Companies such as Microsoft Corp. (Office 365), Google (Google Apps) and Salesforce.com Inc. make up this category. According to analyst reports, more than 70 percent of new applications writ- ten by traditional software vendors are cloud-only, mean- ing they will no longer have a client-side equivalent. Cloud Aggregator: Cloud aggregators are bundlers — Understanding or, a more apt description, distributors of cloud services and hosting capacities. Many cloud aggregators special- the different ize in common productivity, security and utility applica- tions. They provide user interfaces and management tools cloud players is that make the resale and support of cloud-based applica- tions and resources easier for channel partners. the first step in Cloud ISVs: This emerging cloud category is little more building better than the evolution of the independent software vendor and application developer. In the past, ISVs wrote appli- cloud offerings. cations that would complement and enhance the software of major vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle Corp. | channelpartnersonline.com Today, ISVs are discovering that cloud computing is a tre- mendous distribution mechanism, and their wares can be customized to provide specialty capabilities for cloud ser- vices. Many ISVs work through conventional vendor chan- nels to bring their wares to partners. However, many are also building inde- pendent channel relationships.CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 Hosting/Colocation Provider: Hosting companies are data centers that provide resellers and end users with shared resources as an alternative to selling and supporting on-premises servers and storage. Hosting companies typically provide servers (shared or dedicated) and the underlying operating system, while channel partners and/or their customers provide the software for different uses and workloads. Increasingly, hosting providers are extending management services for their servers and, in some instances, select applica- tions. Telecom Carriers: Until recently, connectivity and data transport services that support other cloud services have been the role of traditional telephony carriers in cloud computing. Now, major and regional carriers have invested // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Defining Cloud Channel Business Models p. 6 ■ Vetting a Cloud Provider p. 15 ■ Table of Contents p. 212
  13. 13. Better Cloud computing. Mobility. Security.Get the story at juniper.net
  14. 14. in the development of cloud services. Verizon bought Terremark for its host- ing capacity, while AT&T is developing storage, email and platform services. Sprint has extensive enterprise security services, many of which are being sold through reseller agents or syndication partners. IT Distributors: Distribution’s traditional role is to “pick, box and ship” services for hardware and software products. Broadline and specialty dis- tributors provide cloud product and service support to their channel part- ners. Through distribution cloud services programs such as those offered by Ingram Micro Inc., Tech Data Corp., Synnex Corp. and Avnet Inc., channel partners have access to expert support and resources, training, reference architectures and hosting capacity. Distributors are also bridging relation- ships between cloud providers and resellers. Hardware Vendors: The cloud still requires hardware as the platform for connectivity and application hosting. Hardware vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Dell Inc. are providing more than the metal backbone of cloud services; they recognize their future sales are contingent on cloud providers growing. Through marketing and technical support, hardware vendors are helping cloud providers grow sales. In turn, they expect cloud providers to purchase more hardware to expand their service capacity. Cloud Integrators: Not all clouds are public or hosted, particularly in the enterprise. In fact, the fastest growing cloud segment is enterprise private clouds, and such infrastructure is developed and supported by system inte- grators that previously sold high-end appliances and deployed professional services. Many system integrators have redeployed resources to work with vendors and other channel partners in the development of private clouds for their clients. There are numerous other cloud providers, but these are the essential actors | channelpartnersonline.com in the pantheon. Channel partners are forming different combinations of cloud relationships to build complete portfolios of cloud products and services. Such relationships are essential given the current state of cloud sales. According to CTTA research, 65 percent of channel partners say they are or suspect they are losing sales opportunities because they cannot provide the cloud MORE INFO//// services desired by their customers. Understanding the RESEARCHCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 different cloud players is the first step in building better Telcos, MSOs, ‘Hosters’ to Get cloud offerings. Half of U.S. SMB Cloud Spend CTTA State of the Cloud Channel Report Lawrence M. Walsh is president and CEO of The 2112 Group, a channel services com- SOURCES pany, and editor-in-chief of Channelnomics, a Cloud & Technology blog on channel business models and trends. Transformation Alliance He also is executive director of the Cloud & The 2112 Group Technology Transformation Alliance. You can reach him at Channelnomics lmwalsh@the2112group.com. IDC // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Defining Cloud Channel Business Models p. 6 ■ Vetting a Cloud Provider p. 15 ■ Table of Contents p. 214
  15. 15. ///By Jo Peterson & Manon Buettner t The decision to move a client’s IT infrastructure to | channelpartnersonline.com “The Cloud” should be based on strategic business rationale, and the ensuing process is not to be taken lightly. After all, choosing the right cloud service pro- vider is not only critical for the success of your client’s cloud strategy, it will most likely affect his/her busi- ness. Finding a cloud provider is easy, with myriad providers beckoning. The question to ask yourselfCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 is: Am I truly prepared and educated enough to help guide my client through finding the right provider and migrating to cloud? Understanding cloud is like learning a new lan- guage. Fluency comes not with book learning but with actual use and practice. To be successful, one must invest time and energy to learn the underlying technologies, grow relationships with cloud provid- ers and prepare to have strategic discussions with IT executives about their business drivers. // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ 5 Tips for Finding Right Cloud Provider p. 25 ■ Table of Contents p. 215
  16. 16. Be A LeaderIn Cloud.Become A PartOf CTTA Today. The Cloud and Technology Transformation Alliance (CTTA) – formerly the Cloud Convergence Council – is a communal forum of IT vendors, distributors, resellers, agents and end users that develops guidance on technology adoption and best practices for the use of technology to maximize business value. Technology is moving fast. Sometimes too fast. That’s where CTTA comes in to play. Through forums and research, CTTA provides the community with perspective and guidance on getting the most out of technology hardware, software and services. The CTTA is open to all companies in the business technology value chain. As a member, you will be able to participate in group forums, receive access to exclusive research and network with peers and vendors. Become a CTTA member today! Want to be a CTTA Sponsor? Signing up is easy. Go to: For more information contact: www.cttalliance.com Susan Kostbar at (480) 675-8102 2012 CTTA Sponsors Gold Sponsors Titanium Sponsor Silver Sponsor Bronze Sponsor IT CTTA is facilitated by M ™ T ELEC O
  17. 17. In this article, we will offer background and questions to help define your client’s requirements and recognize provider differen- tiators — both strengths and shortcomings — so you can begin to help your clients reap the benefits cloud can offer. NOT ALL CLOUD SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE CREATED EQUAL. In 2002, Amazon Web Services was launched offering a suite of cloud-based services including storage, computation and even human intelligence through the Amazon Mechanical Turk. It wasn’t until 2006, with the launch of their Elastic Compute Cloud EC2, that “utility computing” became a recognized term defined as a com- mercial service that allows small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications. Hosting providers such as Savvis, SoftLayer and Rackspace also were among the first to offer what’s now considered cloud computing. Fast forward to 2012 and there are more providers than you can name. New entrants to the market are surfacing rapidly. Some cloud providers are able to integrate a full suite of data center, IT, security and network services into a total solution set uniquely tailored to your client’s immediate and long-term cloud vision. Others are focused on the mass market and emphasize self- service, portal-driven products predominantly relevant to startups and developers. Most, however, provide only subsets of a total solution, requiring a cobbling together of third-party services from entities that you either don’t know or with whom you don’t have an established working relationship. As a valued adviser to your client, you want to help guide them toward the most relevant solutions for their particular situation. Therefore, it is crucial to | channelpartnersonline.com begin by fully evaluating and defining the refer- ence architecture, technical and performance indicators, and underlying business drivers that are supporting their migration to cloud. While traditional telcos may offer infrastructure- as-a-service (IaaS), either organically or through cloud providerCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 acquisitions, they may not be the most mature players in this space. The biggest pitfall of limiting your search to providers currently in your portfolio is that, with few exceptions, these will include the larger, established, traditional network service pro- viders that have only recently adopted IaaS as a set of adjunct or tertiary services. With few exceptions, the Iaas solutions offered by carriers today are much less mature, have fewer features and functions, and require more manual intervention for setup and changes. So, while it is less work to focus exclusively on your bench of incumbent carriers to find options, you’ll be doing your client a great disservice by forcing them to fit into what will likely be an immature or restrictive solution. Therefore, hosting and cloud services may not be these companies’ // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ 5 Tips for Finding Right Cloud Provider p. 25 ■ Table of Contents p. 217
  18. 18. core competency. (CenturyLink’s acquisition or environments need to be moved and the of Savvis and Verizon Wireless acquiring Ter- business drivers for moving them. Only then remark are two notable exceptions.) Your best can you can begin the search for the right bet is to find firms that have invested signifi- cloud provider. cant time, money and personnel to convince the market that they are committed to cloud EVALUATING A PROVIDER computing and your client’s positive experi- Armed with the client requirements, you ence. If this set of products is not fully baked can begin searching for the right cloud service (or clearly explained) on the front end, chances provider. When vetting a cloud provider, focus are, it won’t be baked on the back end either. a few key areas: • Performance/Architecture and Tech- nical Considerations • Security • Service/Support • Pricing Understanding cloud is like Performance/Architecture and Tech- learning a new language. nical Considerations. From a performance Fluency comes not with and technical considerations standpoint, book learning but with you’ll want to understand how long the provider has been in the IT outsourcing actual use and practice. business and if the provider has the finan- cial resources to continue to deliver and upgrade services throughout the business life cycle. Business is global; is your provider? Does START WITH THE the service provider offer the seamless global RESULTS IN MIND footprint your client’s business needs to grow? It is crucial that you understand what the Can the data and environment be easily repli- client is trying to accomplish from a business cated globally? Will you be able to manage the standpoint before having an effective cloud | channelpartnersonline.com infrastructure transparently, regardless of time conversation. In other words, what needs or location? aren’t addressed in the client’s current envi- As you search for a cloud provider, it is ronment that is driving the pursuit of a cloud critical to understand how well your client’s solution? If the client doesn’t have a clear application will perform after it’s moved to picture of what his/her real needs are, you the cloud. You’ll want to assure that your cli- won’t have one either. ent’s application will perform as well as usersCHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 True IaaS is can be as simple as spinning expect, now and in the future. Here are a few up some compute instances for a test and questions to ask: development environment, but it also can be • Is the cloud service provider using current as complex as moving an e-tailer’s production generation enterprise-grade hardware to host infrastructure into a hybrid colocation/cloud my client’s data? environment involving a phased migration • Will the provider reveal the names of the strategy and complex design. hardware vendors it utilizes to provide the So, it’s important to define the requirements service? (Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, VMware, first. Many clients are taking a hybrid approach Microsoft, etc.) to cloud services. Before searching for the right • Is the provider committed to keeping up cloud service provider for eager clients, it’s with the rapid pace of technology changes important to understand which applications thought the life cycle of the business? // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ 5 Tips for Finding Right Cloud Provider p. 25 ■ Table of Contents p. 218
  19. 19. IT M ™ Solution Center T ELEC O Business Ethernet. Maximum Connectivity. Maximum Value. A Solution for Your Customers The need for reliable data access that Business Ethernet can accommodate remote workers and The Business Connectivity of Choice multiple locations makes choosing the right connectivity a critical decision. Download the Data Sheets and Business Services Whitepapers contained within this Learn More: Call us at 877.634.2728. Is Ethernet the Right Choice for Your Network? www.megapath.com Solution Center to learn more about Business Ethernet – a solution for your customers that can deliver more Business Ethernet vs. T1 Comparison bandwidth than traditional T1 and Bonded T1 services, at a much lower cost.T1 vs. Business Ethernet Comparison:Ethernet—where available—offers both higher bandwidths and lower prices than comparable T1 service,but has distance limitations while T1 is practically everywhere. T1 AND BONDED T1s BUSINESS ETHERNET DIFFERENCES Symmetrical Bandwidth Symmetrical Bandwidth T1: 1.5 Mbps 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 20 Mbps Ethernet offers higher Bonded T1: 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 10.5, 12 Mbps Additional speeds up to 45 Mbps available bandwidth options in select markets. 99.99% uptime SLA 99.99% uptime SLA Learn More: Call us at 877.634.2728. www.megapath.com Topics include: 1.5 T1 price $299/mo. 2x2 Ethernet: $199/mo. Double bandwidth for less than 3x3 Ethernet: $299/mo. comparable T1 price Loop bonding – more expensive Loop bonding Industry standard • Ethernet vs. T1 Comparison Sheet Available nationwide 365 MSAs 7,000–9,000 ft from CO to get Ethernet but Ethernet has distance nationwide footprint; distance limitations limitations vs. T1 which is ubiquitous Quality of Service with VoIP Quality of Service with VoIP • Business Ethernet: The Advantages Dedicated DSL/speed will not fluctuate Speed will not fluctuate T1 voice and data line is a form of Internet Fast Ethernet is the cabling used in LAN connection environments, making them speedier and more reliable Tops out at 12 Mpbs Connect multiple business locations to give a high-speed dedicated Ethernet connection to ramp to private cloud networks—such as nationwide or international MPLS networks for Business Customers • Choosing Ethernet Services T1 lines offer 1.5 Mbps per line. Each Where available, Business Ethernet often Ethernet, where available, additional line bonded to the original line offers both higher bandwidths and lower offers both higher bandwidths increases the speed by 1.5 Mbps; for prices, partially due to the efficiency of the and lower prices example, a double-bonded solution is technology involved in transmitting higher 3 Mbps. Bonding is practical up to bandwidths over common copper wiring. 10–12 Mbps; above that, other solutions— such as DS3 or Ethernet—are often more • More! cost effective. Get Started Now: 877.634.2728 to learn more. www.megapath.com Sponsored by: Find the complete Solution Center at channelpartnersonline.com/solution-centers.aspx
  20. 20. • Does the provider offer a range of services that can be mixed and matched to best fit the requirements of all my client’s cloud- based applications? • Can the provider integrate hybrid solutions requiring connectiv- ity between my client’s private data center, colocation, managed hosting and cloud? • Does the provider offer a range of connectivity offerings, from general Internet access to high-speed secure private networking? Is the connectivity provided directly from the provider or sourced via third party? Does the provider manage this connectivity? Is there a service level agreement (SLA) for the connectivity? How is that connectivity integrated into the cloud solution? • Which hypervisor does the provider use? This is important because there is no standard hypervisor. Most companies lever- age VMware ESX, but does the provider? Understanding this can help scope whether or not you can import and the virtual machines your client already has. • Can the provider support the VM specifications your client needs? This will help define whether your cli- ent’s app is able to run properly. • How many CPUs, GB of RAM or disk can a single VM have? Can your client leverage the same host names, IP and MAC addresses the company uses internally? • How many VM modules are to be used? Security Considerations. Security, especially as it relates to public cloud offerings, is a popular concern when moving mis- sion-critical data to the cloud. But don’t rule out public cloud com- pletely until you understand how prospective providers handle this area. Be sure to understand how the data is secured by asking the | channelpartnersonline.com following questions: • Does the provider offer a secure environment, both physically (data center) and logically? How secure is this environment? • Does the provider maintain a “defense-in-depth” solution that meets all my client’s internal security requirements? • Is the security built into the product offering, or is it something you and your client will have to design and bolt onto the solution?CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 • Is the security provided by and supported by a professional internal organization? Does it require the involvement of a third party? • Can the security provided be customized and adopted to meet requirements unique to my client’s enterprise? • Does the provider meet all of the various business and regulatory compliance that the enterprise is legally required to implement? • Can the provider document its compliance/security processes and procedures? • Can I be confident that the security measures the cloud service provider offers are as stringent as the ones implemented within my client’s own data centers? // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ 5 Tips for Finding Right Cloud Provider p. 25 ■ Table of Contents p. 220
  21. 21. • Can the service provider tell you with certainty where the business critical data your client shares with them will reside? If not, is it certain it is secure? Service & Support Consider- ations. At this early stage in cloud Application portability and access adoption, most service level agree- to technical resources will be ments (SLAs) are one-sided in favor paramount to offer assurance that of the provider. This limits their lia- future needs will be addressed. bility in an emerging market and allows them to offer the most aggres- sive price points. While studies have proven that higher SLAs don’t equate to higher uptime, you should • Is the cloud ser vice provider’s eliminate those who aren’t standing pricing clear and understandable? behind their service. Here are some • What is included and excluded from questions to ask: the solution’s pricing? • Does the provider offer compre- • Is support built into the pricing hensive and documented SLAs? model, or is it a premium on top of • Is there a clear and concise escala- the standard pricing? tion path? • Are essential components missing • Are the SLAs applicable immedi- that require third party plug-ins? ately or after some arbitrary time has • Does the pricing deliver and satisfy elapsed? the value I expect to realize from my • Are there exceptions during mainte- client’s cloud strategy? (Low pricing nance windows? does not equate to high value if all • Are they clear and easy to other requirements are not fully understand? satisfied.) | channelpartnersonline.com • How easily are they enforced? • Can I view my client’s company From a support perspective, ask spend throughout the month? whether the service provider offers • Can I control who has access to the following: utilize the cloud services? • local onsite team of cloud experts? • Can spending and spending con- • a clear and concise escalation trols be implemented on a depart- path? mental or individual basis?CHANNEL PARTNERS DIGITAL ISSUE  CLOUD COMPUTING OCT 2012 • a global view of a client’s entire • Does the cloud provider offer and cloud solution? suppor t an API to inte grate the • a single neck to choke from a service into my client’s operational support perspective? model? • real-time trouble tickets? • Does the cloud provider of fer reporting that truly helps run my cli- Pricing Considerat ions. The ent’s business more efficiently? most obvious reason to have the • How will this pricing model scale as solution defined prior to soliciting my client grows? pricing is to ensure the proposals • Does this pricing favor my client’s reflect the exact specifications and compute and storage usage/ costs to facilitate the comparison. utilization? // IN THIS ISSUE ////////// Differentiating Cloud Providers p. 11 ■ 5 Tips for Finding Right Cloud Provider p. 25 ■ Table of Contents p. 221
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