360° Approach to Building (and Diversifying) Your Cloud Portfolio
You’ve heard time and time again the reasons behind diversifying your investment portfolio–from risk and hedging, entrance and exit costs, liquidity time horizons, and the importance of analyzing market trends to stay a step ahead. But have you considered applying these same principles when building (and diversifying) your cloud portfolio? Your clients have likely considered these options, and they’re seeking your guidance as an MSP on whether they should: 1.) Pursue the private cloud path, 2.) integrate into hybrid private/public clouds or 3.) develop a mobile cloud future.
Covering All of Your Bases with a Diversified Cloud Portfolio
Many of today’s top MSPs have chosen to leverage a combination of all three to balance client demand and value while maintaining a profitable and competitive services business. They realized that some of their clients require the security that comes with a “build it yourself” private cloud, while others are looking for the lower-cost, yet extensible features of a public cloud. An even larger segment sees the advantages and, in some cases, the necessity of both (hybrid cloud), especially when it comes to disaster recovery. And we’d be remiss to not factor in a powerful mobility strategy. Applying the investment profile thinking, one can quickly assess the right mix of cloud vehicles to support the risk: reward and agility requirements within the time horizon of these programs. It’s all about finding the best cloud combination for your clients that delivers the financial and operational benefits they are willing to invest against.
VMware’s 360° approach, of allocating the right mix of cloud offerings, provides MSPs a strategic framework for how to tackle cloud alternatives. It also opens the door for new customer acquisitions and can yield the following opportunities for you to make money in every phase of our program:
- Private Cloud: Featuring a software-defined data center, a private cloud gives MSPs a way to design, build and run services that they can sell directly to their customers in order to make them more efficient and effective on-prem–all while introducing “near public cloud” agility for day 2 operations while retaining the security and risk mitigation profiles of more conservative clients. One example of this might be running virtualized SharePoint servers on premise.
- Public Cloud: Your target market and decision makers for leveraging public cloud are departments that want to be more dynamic and agile, but might not want to invest in a wholly dedicated environment because the workload sizes do not justify a dedicated build, or simply may not require the resilience or security of corporate IT environments. For them, the vCloud Air Public Cloud platform or the vCloud Air reseller program may be a perfect fit. Consider the revolving subscription fees.
- Hybrid Cloud: If your customers are already using VMware as a hypervisor for virtualization on their private cloud, they’re halfway to making a seamless transition to the Hybrid Cloud market. Ask them: “Why not continue to leverage the investment that you’ve already made in technology, people and processes?” As a VMware MSP, “brokering” the portfolio of workloads across the hybrid clouds is easier than ever. VMware, with SDDC-based hybrid clouds, has broken down the Risk: Agility paradigm. An example of this would be running test and development environments with “on-demand,” pay-as-you-go services in vCloud Air and the production environment in Private Cloud.
- Mobility Model: Cloud and mobility have become the gateway initiatives that truly can open a CIO’s eyes to your capabilities. It begins with your clients needing to feel the same level of security, comfort and trust when people are accessing data down the hall or 300 miles away beyond the firewall and on the devices your clients expect to use. After tapping into that need, the money play for MSPs with the “one cloud, any app, any device” approach is about the services you sell, about becoming more skilled in VMware capabilities and even leaning upon us to help them deliver services on your partners’ behalf. An example of this would be using a public cloud frontend for identity management single sign-on and security for SAP or Oracle Financials.
So, what quick wins will your diverse cloud portfolio generate? We’d love to hear your success stories and additional strategies below. You can also find more information about choosing the right cloud mix for your company by visiting our Cloud Computing overview page or contacting your VMware representative.
Todd Surdey is Co-Channel Chief, VMware. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.