Let’s be honest, it’s confusing out there in the world of cloud computing. There are a few large vendors with literally hundreds of SKUs that are impossible to understand or navigate. Amazon and Rackspace (News - Alert) have created a lot of confusion with their large number of offerings. To make things even more confusing, there are cloud computing vendors popping up by the day. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are getting more and more confused about which cloud vendor to work with – given the complexity described above, often times the answer is none of the above.
MSPs are a critical component of the cloud ecosystem and will play a huge role in the small to midsize business (SMB) market place. SMBs without a dedicated IT person have more urgent needs and MSPs are an important IT resource and support function for them. MSPs have the technology skills of larger organizations and can assist smaller companies by remotely managing most of their IT technologies and infrastructure. For many SMBs, the MSP is a lifesaver and a cost reducer as well.
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Given this critical role in the ecosystem, MSPs need to have the smoke cleared for them. How should a MSP decide which cloud vendor to work with? In order to answer this question, we first have to examine the areas of demand for SMBs. From data I’ve seen in the market, over 60 percent of SMBs are using some sort of Software- as -a -Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) application, with most of them considering moving to an Infrastructure- as- a- Service (IaaS) solution. The adoption for IaaS has accelerated significantly within SMBs. The best part for MSPs is that these SMBs don’t have the technology sophistication, personnel, or resources to migrate to the cloud – a physical to virtual migration involves a lot of professional services and managed services, which translates to dollars sitting on the table for MSPs to grab (after picking the right vendor, of course). The best IaaS partner choice for MSPs is an IaaS provider who can provide an end-to-end solution or be a single point of accountability in the cloud.
For example, dinCloud offers business provisioning in the cloud, which includes virtual desktops, virtual servers and second-site backup in the cloud. Additionally, we provide a cloud management portal, which is white-label enabled for the MSP. This end-to-end IaaS platform is all an MSP needs in its cloud portfolio to offer a complete solution to customers. And, the best part is MSPs can partner with dinCloud within a few days and be up and running within weeks.
The “fear” associated with cloud computing is going down among small businesses in large part due to the consumerization of cloud services. Many consumers are now using hosted services for their personal e-mail (Gmail, etc.) and connecting to cloud applications via their smartphones and/or tablets (Dropbox (News - Alert), etc.) – removing their fear of having data reside with another company. This natural transition is making its way into SMBs and the people behind these companies are demanding more cloud services. This is the inflection point that creates a fantastic entry point for MSPs to help SMBs migrate to the cloud. And along the way, make a ton of money!
Saad Shahzad is Chief Strategy Officer for dinCloud, a cloud transformation company that helps organizations rapidly migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Follow @dinCloud on Twitter (News - Alert).
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