Archive for the ‘Technology & Engineering’ 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