Shifting SMB Customers to Cloud Services: Clear Upside?

Shifting SMB Customers to Cloud Services: Clear Upside?

Despite the rapid growth of cloud services, many SMB customers still hesitate to embrace cloud computing. The fears range from security concerns to reliability concerns. However, a recent study from AMI Partners suggests that once an MSP convinces an SMB customer to test out the cloud, the hard work is over.

Focused on channel partners that offer cloud services to SMBs, the study reveals that seven out of every 10 US partners significantly expand their seat counts with customers in the first six months after a cloud deployment. Furthermore, nearly one quarter typically roll out the solutions to all employees in the organization.

For MSPs that have successful become cloud services providers, incremental sales opportunities are not the only benefits; the study shows they are also finding that the cloud is proving to be an important driver of customer satisfaction. According to the study, two out of every three cloud solution providers report that their customers are "much more satisfied" with them overall IT experience since they have begun offering cloud solutions.

MSPs are also recognizing the importance of working with vendors to ensure a positive cloud customer experience, according to study results. Among the MSPs surveyed, nearly half indicated that a top priority for the next 12 months is to develop and invest in relationships with cloud vendors.

Sell, Sell, Sell?

Armed with this information, what is an MSP serving the SMB market to do? To put it succinctly:
  • Carefully research potential cloud partnerships before signing on the dotted line.
  • Fully understand service level agreements (SLAs) plus short- and long-term commitments.
  • Fully understand branding, invoicing, and customer account control requirements.
  • Solve business problems instead of hyping specific cloud capabilities.
  • Stress cloud computing's limitless storage capacity, low overhead cost, pay as you go architecture, easy remote accessibility, and "always on" accessibility.
  • Let customers now you are more than willing to start small and then expand their cloud seat count as and if needed. Inform them about cloud computing's high customer satisfaction ratings.
Basically, you just need to get SMBs in the door when it comes to cloud computing. Once they step inside and get a look around, in all likelihood they will come back to you looking for greater access.
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