The content in this blog is outdated and we cannot reliably say it is still accurate with the speed in which the cloud industry moves. But don’t worry—below are more recent, up-to-date blogs.
This blog is in response to the CloudHealth Tech series “Evolution and Opportunity: Why Service Providers Should Embrace the Cloud”. Softchoice, a CloudHealth Tech partner, shares trends they are seeing in the market and how their customers are evolving. In addition, they note three table stake services for MSPs in the cloud that customers should ensure their partners can deliver.
When we first started building the AWS practice at Softchoice, the vast majority of conversations we had with customers were focused on cost savings. Customers wanted to know exactly how much they could save by moving their infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The days when cost-savings was the driving force for cloud adoption are long gone. Now, our discussions center around time-to-market. Lines of business and IT departments are under increasing pressure to do more with less and to do it faster than ever before. While they still have budgets to consider, they need to identify ways to get to market faster.
Amazon’s cloud platform is well suited to meet these requirements by providing a self-service, pay-as-you-go solution, but some customers face challenges in knowing where to start. Finding the right MSP is an essential ingredient for customers’ long-term success on the Amazon platform.
In this post, I’ll outline what I believe are three table stake services for MSPs in the cloud space, and ones that customers need to ensure their partners can deliver.
On-Going Cost Optimization
The dynamic nature of the AWS platform allows customers to deploy quickly and cost-effectively a mix of infrastructure, platform and application services to meet client requirements. The ability to move fast is great, but what we’ve found is that in the majority of cases there is a downside to this: the ease of use and demand to move faster means that cloud bills tend to grow over time. Customers need to find a partner who is as concerned about their monthly spending as they are and has tools and processes in place to not only help identify opportunities for cost savings, but act on the customer's behalf to lower their bills. How often should this activity take place? At a minimum, I’d say monthly.
Adherence to Best Practice
As IT and lines of business come under increasing pressure to deliver solutions faster, they sometimes overlook the importance of following best practices and instead just go get the job done. Very quickly, your AWS infrastructure can drift away from being highly secure and fault-tolerant to something that resembles a house of cards. Customers need to find a partner who not only helps them manage costs, but works with their team to identify where they are not following best practice and can help them remediate the issues.
Fully Managed AWS Environment
I always tell customers to focus on the tasks that differentiate your organization from your competitors. Increasingly, that does not include provisioning services on AWS. Customers need to find a partner that not only can help them manage costs and adhere to best practices, but also handle the provisioning, remediation, and on-going optimization of cloud resources so that they can focus on what’s important to their business.
So How Do Customers Find the Right AWS Partner?
First, see if they have the Managed Service Partner Competency from AWS. This designation means the partner has completed a third party audit that examines their capabilities and processes to deliver managed services on the AWS platform.
Second, the partner must have real world, hands-on experience deploying solutions on the AWS platform. Without that experience, their ability to deliver managed services may not be where it should be.
Finally, ask them about the tools they use to manage (and monitor) AWS. If they don’t have any, or they are reluctant to talk about them, consider continuing your search.
About Brett Gillett
Brett is a results oriented technology enthusiast with a proven track record of designing and deploying large complex systems management and security solutions in a variety of corporate environments. As an AWS certified expert and the AWS Practice lead at Softchoice, Brett helps clients leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their computing requirements. This allows clients to concentrate on what differentiates their business from their competitors, rather than spend time on infrastructure management.