How to Sell Cloud Computing Without Hyping Cloud Services
During a typical business day, I receive dozens of cloud computing and cloud services announcements. But in many cases, the announcements involve legacy client-server software that have a cloud computing logo slapped on the box. In stark contrast, I noticed an interesting trend today at Axcient, a fast-growing cloud storage provider that doesn’t dwell on its cloud expertise.
- data backup and recovery
- business continuity
- disaster recovery services
- SMB market
The strategy seems pretty clear to me:
- Most small businesses — and their channel partners — are interested business continuity, backup and disaster recovery.
- By downplaying the cloud term in a major announcement, Axcient has purposely maximized its potential customer, partner and reader base.
- Had Axcient hyped itself around the cloud computing term, it may have lost a few potential customers and partners before the Axcient value proposition could even be explained. Fact is, some VARs freeze in their tracks when they hear cloud computing; they can’t get past the term to focus on the benefits of the cloud service.
Don’t get me wrong: I certainly believe in cloud computing. And I fully believe SMBs will embrace cloud storage. And no doubt: MSPs and VARs want recurring revenues. But to build partner trust, Axcient is messaging around a core SMB need (data protection) rather than the cloud hype cycle.
Read Axcient’s venture cap announcement close enough and you’ll notice that CEO Justin Moore calls Axcient a hybrid cloud platform. That cloud platform will likely generate 400 percent recurring revenue growth in 2011 — though it’s impossible for me to pinpoint actual revenue figures.
Generally speaking, the cloud is real and the cloud works. But smart companies are extending the cloud conversation to basic business needs and peace of mind.