As every good businessperson knows, differentiation in the marketplace is the key to success. This rings true among all markets, regardless of the industry in which your business performs. As markets become more complex, it is crucial now more than ever that service providers utilize differences to their advantage. Most customers can find other entities from which to purchase your services, so creating a business plan that leverages the distinct benefits your customers receive will help you not only retain your current customers, but also expand your market footprint.
1. Automation and intelligence capabilities
Presenting opportunities to your customers that save them time, money and make their business become more efficient provides a more tangible basis on which to invest in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) resources. All businesses look for opportunities to reduce their bottom line. Walking through automation capabilities shows your customer how and why they can benefit from cloud services that include this feature.
Utilizing cloud automation and intelligence will give your environment more flexibility than is available from other providers. These features allow your customers to monitor and manage their virtual machines from a single interface, and provide an opportunity for them to integrate with existing infrastructure. Further, they can also expand their hardware and software capabilities through cloud automation.
In addition to these benefits, automation and intelligence facilitates integration with any billing system. Usage data and reports can be aggregated in a single invoice for customers. Simplification of the billing process creates a streamlined process for your end users that encompasses both cloud resources and any other bundled products or services they receive from your business.
2. Simplistic graphical user interface
A user interface that is intuitive for your end users makes them more comfortable navigating and maintaining their resources. Especially for end users that might not have a strong technical background, a simplistic interface coupled with automation capabilities helps them access and use cloud resources without need for technical knowledge. This further decreases the bottom line for your customers’ businesses by making them more efficient through the use of on demand resources.
A simplistic user interface allows your end users to obtain reports and projections that can be used as they plan for future resource consumption. Giving end users the ability to perform basic management tasks autonomously through a simple interface gives them power over their environment and helps your business maintain a transparent relationship with them.
3. Market reach
Service providers that have a wide-reaching footprint are able to provide true disaster recovery services for their end users. Using two or more zones in separate geographical locations give you the ability to store duplicated data that can be recalled during a disaster. Whereas service providers with only one zone are dependent upon its availability for compute resources, multiple zones allow failover for your systems. Creating this type of environment requires that you have a presence in multiple regions so a regional outage does not affect both zones, but lends peace of mind to your end users that their data will always be available.
Cloud environments that are hosted locally to end users increases the performance they experience working within their virtual machine. For example, resources that are hosted on a server within the customer’s region will experience reduced latency compared to the same resources hosted across the country. End users want to know where their data is hosted and expect faster results as technology grows. A wide market reach that covers multiple regions provides both of these benefits and can be a sure differentiator for your business.
Fragmenting of the marketplace has furthered the necessity of differentiation for all businesses. Seeking your differentiators, like automation and intelligence, simplistic user interface, or wide market reach provides a platform on which to retain and create new customers. These three tips are by no means exhaustive, but they are a good starting point for you to use for reference as you identify characteristics exclusive to your unique offering.