Archive for the ‘In and Around Green Cloud’ Category

Your Success is Our Success – and That’s Different

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In a previous post, I discussed how we compare with the hyper-scalers like Amazon and Microsoft. In this post I’d like to discuss how we compare with other mid-tier providers or datacenter providers with cloud offerings.

The answer is simple. Our focus. We focus on cloud infrastructure products and only sell those products through the channel. We do not compete with our partners. We do not have competing products and priorities in our portfolio. We have only one way to grow and that’s via the growth of our partners. This focus creates a different philosophy than the others. Making our channel partners successful and supporting them as an extension of their team is the driving force behind everything we do.

In fact, we are one of the only (if not the only) provider in the IaaS space that is channel-only. Others have channel programs or were channel-only at one point, but also have a direct sales force as well. Others are software companies, VoIP providers, colocation focused, DR focused, etc. We have never strayed from our focus of providing cloud products that our partners want and only providing them in a cooperative way. In fact, we dabbled in cloud VoIP in our early years, but realized it was a distraction to our focus on infrastructure and removed the product from our line up (even though our growth numbers were impressive.)

To sum it up: supporting our partners isn’t just part of what we do – it’s all that we do. This focus comes through in our sales process, our service delivery process, our support process, our product management process and basically every interaction our partners have with us. You won’t find another cloud provider that truly partners with it’s customers like Green Cloud does. Period. We don’t go away after the sell; we are always there, just like another member of your team, when you need us.

We are honest and transparent to the core. We will be right beside you when selling, but also when something goes wrong. We give you the facts so you can be there for your customers. Go to our status page. You will see the level of transparency. We share every maintenance, every bump in the night. We have nothing to hide, and everything to lose by not sharing the facts with our partners.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask around. You will hear this from our current partners. You probably already know one today amongst your peers. You will likely also find those that we are pursuing who say we are relentless in recruiting new partners. That’s true, and we don’t hide from that reputation. We won’t give up on you before or after the sell. We want and need your business, and we will work tirelessly to earn your trust and keep it. We don’t take that lightly.

Career Opportunities at Green Cloud Are Limitless

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We have a team culture at Green Cloud that really grew out of necessity as an emerging company. From the beginning, everyone at Green Cloud has had to wear multiple hats to deal with the many ups and downs of a (relatively) new business, especially one that has experienced the kind of rapid growth that we have over the last few years.

Those early trials and tribulations made us aware of the importance of team flexibility and the value of letting those with initiative develop a career for themselves within the company. These were critical lessons that we carry with us today, and our commitment to that philosophy is how we sustain our growth and why our team members rank us so high in a survey of SC’s Top Places to Work.

The career opportunities at Green Cloud are exemplified by the many team members who started out in entry-level positions and rapidly carved out a career path by setting goals, working hard, and learning the business. Here are some of their stories…

Michael Bradberry came to us in October 2015 as a Sales Development Rep on the Partner Recruitment team, calling on MSPs and VARs. Green Cloud was experiencing a burst of growth and he was able to move up quickly within the team. Soon, our rapid growth created a need for a position to assist the channel managers, who were working hard to keep up with the increased business. Michael saw an opportunity to help develop the position, and he pivoted to a new role in technical and sales support for channel manager Mac McClenathan, who was building a network in Houston.

Michael began working alongside partners, helping them with quotes, research and technical questions. Knowing that Green Cloud values high levels of direct contact with our partners, Michael decided to make the physical move to Houston, where he could take a stronger hand in helping our partners and increase the amount of face-to-face collaboration. His flexibility and willingness to adapt to evolving needs has allowed him to carve out a role for himself, on his terms.

Green Cloud gave me the liberty and autonomy—and the time—to expand my career,” says Michael of the experience. “It all goes back to the founders’ philosophy of getting our folks into strategic markets to build the business. When I showed interest in that, they helped me move into the position.”

It was during this same growth period that Paul Lee started his move up the ladder. Like Michael, he began as a Sales Development Rep, communicating with Green Cloud partners about their cloud practices and needs, and making sure our relationship with them stayed on solid ground. When Green Cloud purchased Atlanta-based Cirrity in late 2016, it soon became apparent that we needed someone on the ground to meet the increased demand. Paul stepped up to the plate and expressed interest in taking on the role, so we promoted him to Account Manager and he moved to Atlanta to be a local presence and better serve our partners in the area.

As Paul tells it: “When I first started, I was amazed at how the senior-level managers interacted with the team, how they spoke to them. They were always helpful and provided lots of guidance and support. It became clear to me almost immediately that Green Cloud took care of their own… that if I worked as hard as I could and helped others around me, then there was nowhere to go but up.”

Green Cloud’s growth sometimes involves acquiring smaller cloud providers and integrating their businesses into ours. Often, this means bringing the employees of the previous company into Green Cloud’s team. When Green Cloud purchased Akron, Ohio-based ANS, one of their employees, Vicki Zelesnik, decided to move to our Greenville, SC headquarters to be a Cloud Support Specialist, helping our partners provide servers, DaaS Desktops and other services to their customers. But she ultimately came to Green Cloud pursuing goals in management.

I knew that Green Cloud likes to move team members up from within rather than hire outside people for management positions,” Vicki relates, “So, I decided that my career path would be to learn Green Cloud’s offerings and move up to management that way instead of sticking with the track I was on.”

These are just a couple of examples of Green Cloud’s dedication to employee growth and advancement. More than anything, it’s up to our team members to build the career they want. We respond to those who see a need within the company and have the desire to fulfill it. In the end, our primary concern lies in helping our partners; if a team member sees an opportunity to do that, then we are all about letting them.

To capitalize even further on our career empowerment, Green Cloud also fully vests each team member in the company. Knowing that each and every one of us has a stake in what happens gives us a lot of pride when we succeed, and it generates a huge amount of commitment to our partners and their needs. We work for a unique company with a different philosophy about what it takes to be a leader in this industry.

If you’re looking for a hands-on, customer-centric career path that is limited only by your desire to grow and expand your skills, then we’re looking for you. Contact us today to learn more about joining the Green Cloud team.

Meet Green Cloud’s Product Management Team!

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One of our chief priorities at Green Cloud is partner enablement, and as we’ve grown, we’ve upgraded our enablement resources to meet demand. Until now, we’ve shared this responsibility among the entire team, each of us wearing multiple hats as needed to resolve whatever situation comes up, whether it be a partner need, a vendor inquiry or even a simple question from another team member. But as with any growing business, there comes a time when resources must be allocated to improve results.

So, after much careful planning and searching for the right candidates, we are proud to introduce our new, dedicated Product Management team. We’ve recently brought John McBride and Frank Shepherd onboard to oversee our product lines and collaborate with vendors on product development.

John comes to us from CCI Systems where he worked as a Senior Account Manager. Previously, he was a sales engineer and product sales specialist at Cisco Systems for ten years, and prior to that was an network engineer for Nuvox, XO Communications and WorldCom.

Frank has a strong background as a certified infrastructure engineer and cloud services architect for firms such as Peak 10, SunGard and Insight Global. Most recently, he was a Principal Systems Engineer for Tintri.

John and Frank have solid experience on both the engineering side and the sales side of IT solutions, which lets them easily deal with questions and deliver the right answers. But the job still involves multiple hats…

As Product Managers, they play an integral role in developing and implementing solutions for our partners. This involves clearly communicating the features and benefits of our product lines and ensuring that the custom solution we design for a partner’s client fits the project scope and budget requirements. In this role, they serve as the principal contact point for all technical questions a partner might have.

Another critical function they perform is as a technical support hub for both internal and external customers. As Green Cloud’s go-to product experts, they not only know our current product roadmap (and our competitors’) inside and out, but they also work with our vendors to explore new products and ensure that they are streamlined and documented to Green Cloud standards. In addition to conducting competitive research, the team will keep an eye on emerging technologies as well, to help our engineers develop new solutions as the industry evolves.

These responsibilities put the team in the unique position of communicating with all levels of the company and our partner network. They must be able to speak to every situation and every audience, be it an engineer, a sales associate, a partner, a vendor rep or an end-user.

The key to success in this role—and something both new Product Managers bring to the table—is the ability to ingest incredibly detailed and complex data about the products, and then communicate what the data means to someone else in layman’s terms. The team adds this critical asset to our toolbox, one that will help us expand our capabilities and drive better business outcomes for our partners.

Green Cloud’s priorities and differences are simple: People, partners and products have contributed to our growth. The Product Management team reinforces our high level of partner commitment because we succeed when our partners succeed.

          Frank Shepherd                           John McBride

        

A Real-Life Example of Planning for Disaster Recovery

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DaaS solutions prove their worth when the unexpected happens…even for us.

When we talk about disaster recovery and business continuity, we often think about it in terms of a catastrophe—destructive events that directly impact an organization’s physical location and equipment. Not every business interruption is catastrophic, however; in fact, most are short-term problems—power outages, hardware malfunctions, simple human error—that are quickly and easily remedied. Not every interruption is related to the organization’s physical location, either; rather, it is some random, external incident with effects that cascade down the line to suspend business-as-usual. Such interruptions are still costly, nonetheless.

A recent example of such an event occurred in Atlanta, with a massive fire that destroyed an interstate bridge and cut off a heavily-traveled section of highway for weeks. When the initial disaster happened, a 100 ft. section of highway collapsed. Tens of thousands of motorists were stranded, with no way to get to work. Nearly a quarter million vehicles use this section of highway every day, and the immediate disruption to local businesses was staggering. Given the time required to repair the bridge, ongoing traffic issues will continue to make life difficult for area employees, including our own staff in Green Cloud’s Atlanta offices.

Again, for companies taking proactive disaster recovery efforts, this interruption in business continuity as their workers sat idle on a highway had nothing to do with their infrastructure, or their data storage and backup plans. No failover contingency could be employed, and there was no hardware to restore. This was an operational interruption that was completely external and out of anyone’s control. The only element of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that mattered here was an investment in virtual desktops.

A good Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution—such as the one employed by Green Cloud—enables employees to log into company servers from a remote location and access an exact copy of their workstation, including all files, email, and other applications. This meant that motorists stuck in traffic or otherwise unable to get to the office because of the event could still address business issues and continue to get work done using their laptops or other mobile devices. DaaS’ ability to mitigate the effects of such an event, and to quickly restore some level of operations in an emergency is critical to recovery. In addition to allowing remote employees to continue servicing customers, a virtual desktop solution saves companies valuable time in restoring full operations and prevents a major loss of revenue.

In our case, Green Cloud employees used a DaaS solution to continue monitoring our area data center operations, communicate with fellow staff members across the country, and handle customer accounts with no discernible interruption in quality or timeliness of service.

When assessing risks to your company during the disaster recovery planning phase, try not to think about the totality of possibilities. It is impossible to prepare for every event, but it is definitely possible to build a plan that focuses on business functionality instead. If your core business has a set number of operations that must be fulfilled (customer communications, order entry, inventory management, real-time reporting, etc.), make sure your plan addresses those operations, regardless of why they might get interrupted. As we’ve seen in the Atlanta incident, one key to maintaining business continuity is a solid virtual desktop solution.

Boost Your Business with Great Offers from Green Cloud and Veeam

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Help your customers achieve the best results in cloud backup, replication, and disaster recovery with Veeam Cloud Connect.

Veeam is running an incredible promotion for the nearly quarter-million end-users of their Cloud Connect services. Eligible customers will receive up to $1,000 in FREE Cloud Connect services. And to sweeten the deal, Green Cloud is offering special rates of $0.05 per GB to our eligible partners who sign up their customers.

About Veeam Cloud Connect

Veeam Cloud Connect enables end-users to extend their data availability to the cloud with comprehensive, industry-leading backup, replication, and disaster recovery technologies. Best of all, Veeam’s Cloud Connect services are built right into their suite of backup and recovery products—end-users only need a few minutes to activate Cloud Connect and get started through a back-end configuration console.

Veeam Cloud Connect Backup integrates hosted cloud repositories directly into the console, giving end-users complete control of their backup and recovery management tasks. In the event of a failover, Veeam Cloud Connect Replication provides a seamless transition to VM replicas. Working together, these cloud solutions keep your customers’ data secure and available—and their businesses up-and-running—at all times.

Eligibility Requirements

Green Cloud partners wishing to take advantage of the promotional rate offer must be listed in the directory of Veeam-powered services (to help you generate and receive new leads) and Green Cloud must be designated as your VCSP.

Eligible end-users must own or purchase Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam Availability Suite, or Veeam Backup Essentials (any edition), and be current on maintenance at the time of registration. Customers already using Cloud Connect services are also eligible, as long as the funds from this offer are used to either expand their service or purchase new services.

Limit of one activation code per Veeam customer account.

Contact Green Cloud Marketing (marketing@gogreencloud.com) for help with registration.