We’ve talked in this blog before about how there’s a kind of ‘Perfect Storm’ brewing for cloud service providers with market forces combining to create many opportunities in the cloud space.
Amidst this opportunity, cloud service providers face the challenge of being able to differentiate themselves from the myriad of cloud
competitors and cloud-washers that are present in the market and ensure they are delivering revenue back to the business as well as flexible, secure, customized cloud solutions to their customer base.
There are 2 key areas they can focus on to grow revenue through differentiation:
- Delivering value-added cloud services
- Delivering the trusted cloud
Delivering value-added cloud services
By differentiating and adding value to their cloud offerings, service providers can monetize their cloud platform in a way that is meaningful to customers. The starting point for this is to develop a deep understanding of their customers’ business needs and asking questions such as:
- What is the customer trying to achieve with cloud?
- What compliance needs do they have?
- How will their cloud needs evolve over time?
Having this knowledge of the customer’s business objectives enables the service provider to design value-added cloud services that meet the organization’s needs – and the needs of diverse users across the organization.
Here are some examples of value-added options cloud service providers can add to build out their service catalog – and expand revenue
opportunities at the same time:
- Hardware options – extra memory & storage
- Application installs
- Compliance – to meet operational service levels as well as regulatory requirements
- Performance Monitoring – of the deployed cloud workloads and end user experience
- Maintenance options – including backup & patching
- Security options – firewalls, VLANs and load balancing
- Infrastructure options – extra memory & storage, different sizing options
Delivering the Trusted Cloud:
A key area where service providers can really differentiate is in delivering the trusted cloud to customers. With businesses getting comfortable with moving more and more critical workloads to the cloud, service providers can offer the security and management that is needed for these workloads. At the same time, they have the opportunity to turn backup, monitoring, compliance patching and security options, etc into chargeable offerings.
To deliver the trusted cloud and meet the stringent SLA’s that are increasingly required, service providers need to consider offering the
following value added services:
- Policy driven placement according to security, service levels and compliance requirements
- Deployment of security options such as firewalls, VLAN’s and load balancers during provisioning
- Secure multi-tenancy with deep network integrations
- Proactive performance monitoring & automated remediation
- Ongoing capacity management to ensure SLA’s are met
- Automated configuration management and patching
- Usage based metering to provide insight into cloud economics
- Integrated change management
All of these value added features help to establish trust in the relationship between the service provider and the customer, a factor that
will be so important as basic cloud becomes more of a commodity.
With a flexible cloud management platform combined with service provider customizations and cloud know-how specific to geographies and industry requirements, the end result can be value added services for the customer and more revenue opportunity for the cloud
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog focused on how cloud service providers can improve margins by driving down costs across their cloud
Get the free White Paper: ‘Monetizing the Service Provider Cloud’: http://documents.bmc.com/products/documents/19/18/441918/441918.pdf