The cloud is here to stay, so why are some organizations still fighting it? Whether you are a channel organization or an MSP it’s important to recognize the value that hosting in the cloud and accessing cloud applications brings to the businesses you serve. This month we will provide you with some insights into why the cloud is so valuable, and some ways you can prove it to the naysayers.
20 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Growing Cloud Investment
It’s fairly well known by now that the cloud allows businesses to do more with less, but how much more is it really doing? And how can we explain that to hesitant prospects? This article talks about ways that MSPs can help their customers see the value in their services and what they need to be measuring in order to do so.
The KPIs used to measure the success of moving over to the cloud can vary from company to company, so we summarized a few that we think are important:
- Define what ROI means for your target customer: Not all businesses are created equal, so it would be shortsighted to try measuring them all with the same ruler. If you serve a specific industry or your service plays to a specific pain point then you should be focusing on KPIs that are important to that segment of the market.
- Measure overall revenue impact: Moving over to the cloud isn’t just about saving money on on-premises equipment and staff. It’s also been shown to improve productivity and organization, which results in a higher profitability.
- The power of security and recovery: It’s important to recognize the value of the “always on” nature of the cloud. Companies need to know what the downtime of in-house servers would do to their productivity and bottom line should there be a failure or breach so they can see benefit in the security and reliability of the cloud.
The Doyle Report: Channel Foot-Dragging Impedes SMB Adoption of Cloud Services
SMBs want to adopt cloud applications at a faster rate, but can find it overwhelming without the right expertise and help of a channel. As a result, channel organizations are leaving a wealth of opportunity on the table when they fail to provide SMBs with these cloud service options.
The channel has always been the champion for providing IT to small and medium sized businesses. So why, if “two-thirds of SMBs are comfortable keeping their company’s data in cloud-based applications,” are these channel organizations so slow to adopt and promote cloud services?
The biggest obstacle for channel organizations, as cloud becomes the most prevalent IT service, is their own deep internal culture: shifting their mindset from delivering a CapEx project to delivering OpEx. This has made traditional channel sales people less receptive to delivering cloud services, because they view them as not being worth their time.
In the past, channel organizations could sell upwards of $50k and get their commission all up front. They were able to court and close business that they then didn’t have to develop an ongoing relationship with. The MRR model with cloud services can be as little as $500 and requires an ongoing, consultative approach to the relationship, which makes selling the cloud less appealing to sales people who have been selling traditional IT services.
Who wants that right?
The key for channel partners to be successful at selling cloud applications is to educate their market around how they improve the cloud experience. This is a little easier for individuals ‘born in the cloud’, but it’s also possible (and highly necessary) for more experienced organizations that want to make sure they stay relevant and continue to close business into the future. Most SMBs want to move everything over to the cloud, so the channel organizations that help them do that will have the best longevity.
If you are a channel organization and have been reluctant to promote the cloud, then you could be in for a rough road ahead. Don’t let the opportunity to be at the forefront of your market pass you by. Keep reading the article for more insight into this unique opportunity.
Five Ways for B2Bs to Tap into Social: Experts Offer Tips for Wary Participants
B2B companies must differentiate themselves with content marketing that positions them as experts throughout the buyer journey. B2Bs often publish blog posts, eBooks, and even video, but many struggle to effectively use a key channel that buyers love: social media.
Five Ways for B2Bs to Tap into Social offers proven tactics from B2B marketing experts that can help you leverage social media for targeted, contextual content marketing campaigns.
Like other B2Bs, MSPs and Hosters rarely make social media a priority because it can be complex, time consuming, and appear to drive little results. Fortunately, the five expert tips collected by eMarketer are spot on for technology service providers:
- Use content marketing on social to gradually engage buyers: When you share great content on social channels, you create many small, positive interactions that can add up to news sales and brand loyalty.
- There’s more to B2B social than LinkedIn: Understand the unique strengths of different platforms — from Facebook to YouTube — so you can use each one strategically.
- It’s OK to reuse content: New followers didn’t see you share that blog post 6 months ago (not even all your long-time followers did!)
- At industry events, social media is king: Sharing relevant event updates and incentives can drive people to your booth, or spark online conversations that make you more visible.
- Expert communities are more important than reach: Use social platforms to build niche decision-maker communities where cloud questions are answered, positioning you as a trusted cloud advisor.