Business cloud usage is steadily increasing, but it’s true potential remains vastly untapped. An area that needs more focus is the partner relationship between vendors and customers.
It’s important to remember that not all cloud partners are the same. Take time to determine which cloud hosting provider is the best for your needs. Look for a partner who is “able to support you efficiently and effectively… The right choice will mean a mutually beneficial partnership, while the wrong choice could mean disaster and a loss of customer trust.”
So how do you chose the right cloud partner? Let’s take a look at some things to consider:
1. Are there any warning signs? “Treat complicated service-level agreements (SLAs), a lack of any SLA, or long-term contracts that are difficult to terminate as red flags.” If you come across hosting companies that don’t use an outside auditing firm, stay away. This is a “warning sign that formal policies and procedures are not being verified.”
2. How responsive is your cloud partner? Set your requirements from the beginning. Make it very clear what are your expectations and pay attention to how your cloud partner communicates. As you know, delays are unacceptable. Make sure your partner cares about your relationship and responds to you in a timely fashion. Do some research on the company’s reputation to get a better understanding from actual customers.
3. How does your cloud partner operate? How do they work on a technological and organizational level? Do they have a really complex hierarchy? Make sure you always have access to your contact person and that you find them reliable.
4. Is your cloud partner established? “Look for active partners and a current customer base that will be able to provide you with referrals.” Have you heard of anyone on the management team? Do your research and avoid fraudulence.
5. Is your cloud partner experienced? Cloud has existed longer than most people are aware. There are many vendors out there with years of experience, who understand how to “provide stability and confidence to their partners.” Look for cloud enthusiasts who are excited about their products.
Take some time to evaluate and consider potential vendors before entering into a partnership. Lay out your criteria and terms to ensure your relationship is lasting and productive.
Image: Courtesy of VostroCloud