Cloud Memo From Google, NetSuite to Managed Services Providers

How can managed services providers (MSPs) develop their cloud computing strategies? Plenty of answers are emerging at this week's Google I/O and NetSuite SuiteWorld conferences in San Francisco. A combined 7,000 customers, cloud integrators and software developers are attending each event. Dozens of channel partner success stories are emerging at both conferences. It makes me wonder: Why are so many MSPs still overwhelmed by cloud-related discussions with customers?

Let's start with the NetSuite conference. NetSuite, as most MSPmentor readers know, develops a SaaS-based ERP platform. But more recently, NetSuite has been building a SuiteCloud platform for application partners. Here's the really interesting part: In its most recent quarter, 40 percent of NetSuite's new business bookings came through business partners and channel partners, up from 32 percent last year and 23 percent in 2009.

Admittedly, a lot of MSPs don't have enough application expertise to become NetSuite channel partners. But I continue to maintain: The most profitable MSPs in 2012 and beyond will have some sort of application expertise in the cloud. Generally speaking, I think MSPs are spending too much time huddled with each other discussing reactive business strategies and too little time attending cloud-centric conferences such as NetSuite SuiteWorld.

The future is here. Learn about it.

Here Comes Google

Meanwhile, a familiar name -- Google's Jeff Ragusa -- is stepping onto the stage this week at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. Yes, most of the conference focuses on Chrome OS, Android and the Google Apps marketplace. (Here are five anticipated highlights.)

But Ragusa is one of the key Google insiders who understands the channel. Ragusa spent much of 2009 and 2010 navigating managed services conferences, and helping MSPs to understand Google Apps opportunities.

Ragusa has maintained a careful balancing act -- telling MSPs that they should learn a bit about scripting and application integration without stating that MSPs need to master application development. He's updating that message this week at Google I/O.

Whether you accept or reject Ragusa's message: Have you heard it?

Avoid Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)

Here's the really interesting part of the Google I/O and NetSuite SuiteWorld conferences: Channel partners here aren't in panic mode. They aren't worried about cloud computing disrupting traditional IT product sales. Instead, the partners here are polishing their recurring revenue models for the age of cloud computing.
The bottom line for MSPs:
  • Stop fearing the cloud.
  • Stop hanging out with naysayers who panic about the cloud.
  • More than 7,000 software developers, integrators, customers and channel partners are attending Google I/O and NetSuite SuiteWorld in San Francisco this week.
Why aren't you here?

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