The commercial advantages offered by Cloud computing are so well known it would be superfluous to list them here, and so attractive they continue to generate a buzz across the commercial landscape.
But if you are currently a traditional reseller, is your businesses genuinely ready to transition to reselling Cloud offerings, or to being a Managed Services Provider (MSP)?
A lot depends on how you answer the following 2 questions.
- Are my people ready?
- Is my business ready?
Are my people ready for Cloud?
Fear of innovation is a cultural reality with roots in ignorance. Just because you see the “obvious” benefits of making the transition, doesn’t necessarily mean the team shares your enthusiasm. A degree of selling may be required to ease their fears and bring them into alignment with your goals.
For some of your customers, there is resistance to fully embrace the cloud for fear of their jobs becoming redundant. Is that a concern within your organisation? It shouldn’t be. For you or your customers. A recent Deloitte Report notes that customer IT roles will simply shift from their current focus on the building and maintenance of hardware and infrastructure, to a concentration on more value-added tasks, involving planning, management and software solution provision for their users. The same will apply for your technical staff.
Other team members, especially sales, may demonstrate a level of resistance to change, which could have a devastating effect on the esprit de corps. Expect that. In fact, a well-handled transition to Cloud will anticipate and prepare for a certain level of resistance. What’s required is a detailed review of compensation plans, and on-siding campaign, entailing clear communication of the benefits, scheduled discussions, and a comprehensive education program tailored to individual roles.
At the end of the day, and this needs to be communicated throughout your organisation, the transition to Cloud is in the interests of all.
Is my business ready for Cloud?
As big as the buzz continues to be, a word of caution is nevertheless in order. A childhood story comes to mind. Do you remember the unfortunately named Winnie the Pooh? He heard the buzz too and knew honey was there for the taking. But poor old Pooh-Bear – not known for his forward planning or his ability to strategise – saw the honey-pot and more or less dived in, head-first. Turns out, it wasn’t a good fit. Pooh walked around for the rest of the story with a honey-pot jammed to his snout.
So, before plunging your business into the Cloud honey-pot, make sure it’s a good fit. Better still, get someone like Channel Dynamics to measure it up for you. We have developed a genuinely comprehensive Business Readiness Checklist, which we have used with a broad range of resellers, to work out if the fit is right, and to identify the nature and scope of preparatory work required prior to transitioning your business model.
Bear in mind (apologies, Pooh!) that MSPs and “X”-as-a-Service through the Cloud leverages a significantly different business model. Channel Dynamics assists prospective Cloud resellers to conduct a detailed analysis of their current business structures and processes to determine whether there is sufficient “alignment, capability and sustainability” to make the shift. We examine everything from preferred-client profile to financial resilience, from marketing and sales strategy to customer lifecycle management and vendor selection.
The point is that the Cloud offers profit and benefit to those reseller businesses whose people and systems are ready to meet the challenges of a new way of doing business.