Cloud selection criteria – what matters to you?

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Written by Marc Shelley, Egenera

I’m constantly trying to look at what goes into the thought process when an organization chooses a cloud services provider (CSP). There are many pieces to the puzzle, but brand recognition is always a big one. As someone who has worked for several behemoth technology companies I’m very aware that brand recognition is a huge asset for consistently landing on vendor selection shortlists.

But, how legitimate is brand recognition as a vendor assessment tool? Wouldn’t businesses be more prudent IT consumers if brand recognition was viewed as just one of several assessment metrics?

If you’re a baby boomer, you probably recall the saying “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” But, can you imagine how technology advancements would’ve been stymied if businesses back then had decided there was only one choice when it came to technology? What if small technology vendors decided to close shop and go home because one massive company had seemingly monopolized the high tech brand recognition mindshare?

We’re all better off because technology vendors found a way to flourish despite being perceived as underdogs. High tech continues to flourish because vendors innovate and deliver solutions that are improvements over predecessor products.

Point being is that brand recognition is one of many valid assessment metrics but there are new — and better — solutions available, and you owe it to your business to assess CSPs based on their solutions and capabilities, not solely on their brand recognition. With cloud services, you’re entrusting your reputation and relationships to a CSP. Do your clients care if the CSP is a brand name or are they more likely to care about IT stability, reliability, scalability, security, responsiveness and availability?

To validate my point, many businesses assume that CSP brand recognition and size are irrefutable metrics that guarantee cloud stability, reliability and longevity. This assumption leads to a “nobody ever got fired for using _ _ _ cloud” cult-like belief.  However, the headlines shown below reveal that such a belief is misguided and very far from reality.

The internet is replete with stories about sub-par tech support received from big CSPs. The big CSPs view their support and partner programs as revenue sources. And because of that, the big CSPs cater to their mega-partners that can afford the exorbitant top tier subscription fees. Ironically, the costly partner program and support tiers they subscribe to are oftentimes equivalent to those that smaller CSPs provide free of charge. Due in part to revenue and margin goals, the big CSPs treat their less expensive/lower tier partners (and direct end users) as if they’re “small fish in a big pond.”

Conversely, smaller CSPs keep it simple; they aren’t distracted by balancing the needs of multiple business units. They are laser-focused on providing highly reliable cloud services and top- support to all their partners. And more important is the fact that smaller CSPs know their success is dependent on the success of their partners.

We’ve put together a CSP assessment checklist to help you decide what cloud services partner is right for you and your clients. Click here to download the free CSP Assessment Checklist.

Headlines that prove size & brand recognition do not = stability

2013: Dell withdraws from the public cloud IaaS Market 1
2015: Hewlett-Packard throws in the towel on public cloud 2
2015: AWS outage knocks Amazon, Netflix, Tinder and IMDb in MEGA data collapse 3
2015: Azure Nightmare: Customer Suffers 9-Day Intermittent Outage, Gets No Help From Microsoft4
2016: Verizon to shut down its public cloud5
2016: Google cloud in five-hour unplanned cloud outage 6
2017: Cisco to kill its Intercloud public cloud on March 31, 2017 7
2017: IBM’s SoftLayer is having a meltdown – and customers aren’t happy 8
2017: Massive Amazon cloud service outage disrupts sites 9
2017: VMware Is Selling Part of Its Cloud Business10

 

  1. http://blogs.gartner.com/lydia_leong/2013/05/20/dell-withdraws-from-the-public-cloud-iaas-market/
  2. http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/hp-public-cloud/
  3. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/20/aws_database_outage/
  4. http://www.crn.com/news/cloud/300076751/azure-nightmare-customer-suffers-9-day-intermittent-outage-gets-no-help-from-microsoft.htm
  5. http://www.zdnet.com/article/verizon-closes-down-public-cloud/
  6. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/22/google_cloud_in_fivehour_unplanned_cloud_pitstop/
  7. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/13/cisco_to_kill_its_intercloud_public_cloud_on_march_31st_2017/
  8. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/26/ibm_softlayer_having_meltdown/
  9. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/02/28/amazons-cloud-service-goes-down-sites-scramble/98530914/
  10. http://fortune.com/2017/04/04/vmware-vcloud-air-ovh/
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