Archive for the ‘Solutions’ Category

Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth for Uncertain End-Users

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The cloud is now a mature technology, but despite the successful adoption of the cloud by many large and vital organizations — even US intelligence and law enforcement agencies — many small- to medium-sized businesses still approach the cloud with caution. A lot of myths about the cloud persist, and for many IT decision-makers within prospective client companies, there remains a level of fear, uncertainty and confusion.

So how do you get around these obstacles if your clients just don’t get the cloud?

The answer is to be proactive. As an MSP, it’s up to you to drive the cloud conversation with your clients who prefer to rely on a hardware-centric approach to their systems. One of the best ways to control the fear, uncertainty and confusion is to start small, with a cloud concept that is simple to explain and easy to digest, and draw upon a reality your client sees everyday in the news: disaster recovery.

By explaining the cloud via a DR strategy, you can set expectations for how your clients can use the cloud to solve an identifiable problem—massive data loss due to error, sabotage, or catastrophic event—one that could cost their business everything. The disaster doesn’t even have to be a catastrophic one; in fact, most typical “disasters” are not something big but something relatively mundane. It could be just a single server going down, or an absent-minded employee clicking an email link and downloading a ransomware virus. These things happen all the time, even to big companies with robust IT protocols.

Once your clients understand that they can use the cloud to prevent a doomsday incident by moving their data to a secure off-site server and making it fully recoverable in a short amount of time, then the discussion about other cloud services becomes much easier. Once the disaster recovery solution is in place, the client is now ready for a full migration to the cloud, even if they didn’t intend to be. If they end up needing to use the disaster recovery solution after a data loss, then the cloud has proven its value and the conversation becomes self-fulfilling.

Functionally, the cloud as we know it is nearly two decades old; commercially, a decade and change. Despite that, we’re still forced to deal with an unfortunate truth about the cloud: Many end-users aren’t quite there. To them, the cloud still seems like a new and exotic technology that they just don’t need (yet). Couple that with the daunting array of solutions and providers out there, and a full-blown move to the cloud might seem too much for them to risk. A subtler approach that addresses a very real-world problem like disaster recovery can be key to opening the door to a much broader opportunity with these clients.

Cloud Migrations: A Great Opportunity that Gets Even Better with Our Help

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you about why we compete with the big providers. Our reasoning was that we want to do what the big guys can’t, making cloud technology accessible to everyone and not trying to fit all businesses into a one-size-fits-all mold. When you’re talking about the big providers in the cloud space, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to talk about Amazon, specifically AWS.

Today, I want to tell you about a specific example of Green Cloud doing what the big guys (namely, Amazon) can’t: fully managed migration services.

Amazon believes that migration services will bring a “massive” opportunity over the next two years—one worth more than $146 billion. Granted, they made this claim while touting their software tools in the AWS marketplace, but we couldn’t agree more about the size of the migration services opportunity.

Where Green Cloud and Amazon disagree on this issue is the approach to getting partners in position to capitalize on adding migration services to their offering. Amazon will provide you with a list of software tools that may or may not fit your needs. You’ll need to vet them out, figure out how to implement them and manage your customers’ migration using them. If that’s not enough of a tall task, you’ll need to do all of this at the rapid pace the marketplace demands.

This is why Green Cloud provides managed migration services for our partners. Green Cloud doesn’t just give you the software tools to migrate your clients’ data, we take ownership of the process. Solid software tools are the start, but migration takes more than a few clicks in a program. A successful migration requires planning, communication, testing, and support-before, during and after the move. Learning how to manage a successful migration takes considerable training and experience, as well as hours of preparation, research and planning. This is all valuable, billable time that is better spent engaging with customers.

We are here to augment your staff, giving you the benefit of migration services without the loss of engineer time or the black eyes of learning the ropes. Our experienced team of service delivery engineers have performed countless migrations, big and small. They will be by your side at every stage of the process, performing as much of the work as your unique migration scenario requires.

Our pricing is reasonable, and our service is complete. You won’t have to vet out software solutions, learn how to use the software, and then guide the customer through the migration while you’re learning on the fly. We’ll make you look like a rock star, while giving you the ability to increase your monthly recurring revenue without increasing your workload.

Just like every facet of our business, Green Cloud’s migration services put the partner first.

-Eric Hester, Chief Innovation Officer

Cloud Services Provider Eric Hester

Why Does Green Cloud Compete with the Big Providers?

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We get asked all the time, “Why would you try to compete with huge companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM?” It’s an easy answer: We do it because this isn’t our first rodeo.

The executive team at Green Cloud has decades of experience in building strong technology companies that can compete with major industry players. For example, we started a long-distance company that went up against AT&T. We then started an ISP that was in direct competition with AOL, Prodigy, and Earthlink. We even started a phone company that went head-to-head with Ma Bell.

Why would we do this over and over? It’s simple: We want to provide services to people who need more than just the products that other companies produce. Our goal is to bring technology to people in a way that makes them happy to use it, rather than give them poor service and confusing procedures, and wish them good luck. We want to make cloud technology accessible to everyone by recognizing many businesses won’t fit in a one-size-fits-all model.

With that attitude driving us, why wouldn’t we start a cloud company that does what the big guys can’t?

We’re comfortable with this David vs. Goliath-style of competition because we know how to build partner networks that garner the support and loyalty of the resellers and MSPs who sign up. We only sell our cloud solutions through our partners, to help them deliver a product to their customers that is practical and reliable, and solves their real-world business problems.

We know our partners’ customers look to them to do more than just sell something and then disappear. In turn, our partners trust us to treat them the same way. That level of trust is what keeps us all operating with integrity, and it creates an environment that breeds superior service and drives focused product innovation. We have our partners not only on our side but by our side in our journey through the ever-shifting world of technology. This level of relationship with our partners simply does not exist in the high-volume world of the warehouse-scale providers.

Bottom line: we are much more than just another cloud company. We are partners, we are educators, we are problem-solvers, we are listeners, we are open to change and we are empathetic. We don’t sell cloud as a commodity; we enable growth through better use of technology for both our partners and their customers. Every person at Green Cloud strives to make the whole ecosystem better every single day. Whether you’re talking about our team, our technology, our support systems, or our products, we are never done evolving what we do, improving what we make and expanding what we’re capable of, on behalf of our partners and their customers.

At Green Cloud, we’re just getting started, and the big companies—as usual—aren’t thinking like us.

-Eric Hester, Chief Innovation Officer

Cloud Services Provider Eric Hester

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.

Finding Your Niche in the Cloud

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When I talk to traditional hardware resellers, I often hear them say they want to sell cloud solutions but they’re not sure how to pivot their business. A lot of them express reservations—and even downright fear—about taking that step. Many worry about biting off more than they can reasonably chew, or having to completely reorient their current practice.

To answer them, I always explain that they don’t have to sell “cloud-everything” or radically change their business. Our most successful partners identify their niches in the market—such as voice or disaster recovery—and then find cloud solutions to fit that niche. They’re already familiar with the ins and outs of their particular segment, so it’s a matter of figuring out which solutions can “bolt on” to their existing offering.

In addition, the scalable nature of the cloud enables hesitant VARs to start small by picking one or two complementary solutions and then ramping up to add more services and solutions to their portfolio later on. This makes the transition to the cloud easier on their staff, builds organizational expertise at a comfortable pace, and provides a means to demonstrate the cloud’s profitability without a huge upfront commitment.

This last point is important because many VARs place the profitability question above ease of transition, and they don’t want to adopt the cloud because they don’t perceive it as profitable. This perception is magnified when they begin exploring the costs of building the infrastructure to connect their customers to the cloud.

The profitability objection is easy to overcome because, first and foremost, providing cloud services does not take away from hardware sales at all. There’s always a need for on-premise hardware and with the growing popularity of hybrid cloud solutions, VARS can actually present clients with more options and create bigger sales as a result. And even though the cloud market is now firmly in place, it is still experiencing wild growth in adoption. As adoption increases, so will sales.

Second, it’s critical to remember that the shift to the cloud isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Building recurring revenue may be 3–4 year proposition, but in the long run, it can be significant. Forward-thinking VARs who are patient enough to evolve their business as the cloud matures will find that the recurring service fees substantially boost their overall revenue. Not only that, the contractual nature of the charges can also increase their company’s valuation because they are considered guaranteed future income.

Finally, while some VARs may have the capital to build their own data center, most don’t want to (or can’t) build a cloud solution from the ground up. In fact, those who go it alone may find themselves left holding the bag on a lot of expensive gear and idle manpower while their sales team figures out how to properly sell the cloud. A best practice for VARs is to partner with a reliable cloud infrastructure provider—like Green Cloud—to reduce their risk and allow them to focus on their core business, and leave the technical worries (and a lot of upfront investment) to someone else.

Contact Green Cloud today to learn more.

 

Connecting Your Core to the Cloud

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The cloud is no longer on its way—it’s here. It’s not an embryonic trend anymore, or a radical new approach, or an exotic option. Now, cloud concepts are familiar to everyone, cloud infrastructure is mature technology, and cloud solutions are rapidly becoming an essential component of IT everywhere.

Despite the cloud’s emergence as a powerful force in the technology industry, many traditional providers still struggle to incorporate cloud solutions into their businesses. When Green Cloud associates speak to potential partners about the cloud, we often hear some familiar objections:

Why should I sell the cloud when my hardware business does well enough on its own?

I’d like to add cloud services, but I don’t have the budget or personnel to build and maintain a data center.”

I want to offer more cloud services, but I don’t want to completely retool my company.”

The truth is: You don’t have to jump into “the deep end” to embrace a cloud model. The emergence of cloud infrastructure providers, and the adaptability and scalability of cloud technologies, means you don’t have to abandon or rebuild your traditional business, or make a massive investment to be profitable selling cloud solutions.

If you want to sell the cloud—or more of it—the most effective and affordable strategy is to find a partner who has already made the necessary investments in the cloud infrastructure (so that you don’t have to), and then connect your core business to complementary cloud solutions and services.

For example, if you’re selling on-premise backup hardware, you can offer your clients additional protection with offsite cloud backup as a bundled solution. This level of data redundancy is essential for any good disaster recovery plan, and many organizations are realizing that such a solution is all that stands between them and a catastrophic loss of business continuity.

It makes for an easy sell that makes sense to the client, and carries with it the opportunity to add various hosted services like monitoring, setup and retention, file-level recovery support, and other disaster recovery solutions. With a trusted cloud infrastructure partner in place, you can affordably expand your traditional hardware sales and not only generate more profit, but also build recurring revenue. Over the long term, the profitability of the managed services can dwarf the stand-alone equipment sale. Best of all, this strategy can be repeated across virtually any solutions category your business sells.

Bottom line: when it comes to hardware vs. the cloud, you don’t have to be an either/or seller…you can sell both. You already know your business, your budget, and your competencies. To make a successful pivot to the cloud, you simply need to find the right cloud solutions that fit with what you’re already selling and the right partner to provide a reliable, secure cloud infrastructure—a partner like Green Cloud.

Contact us today to learn more. Green Cloud is 100% channel-only, and we create custom cloud solutions for VARs, MSPs, and system integrators.

Mac McClenathan is the VP of Sales at Green Cloud Technologies.