For companies already providing telecom and data services to end users, adding a cloud service model to your repertoire of services can dramatically increase profits and customer satisfaction. As evidenced by the February 2012 Microsoft study, 56% of SMBs want a single source for their IT and many want a mix of applications and infrastructure sources. Additionally, the growth potential for offering compute resources is expected to grow (current users purchase four services, compared to the anticipated six in the future). For corporate developers, adding cloud based applications to your product offering is an easy way for you to utilize the infrastructure and resources you already have and provide more valuable services that your customers want.
Benefits for your Business
If you already have infrastructure, your new cloud environment can work directly to augment your current services and launch them into the cloud. Your IT staff is already familiar with regular maintenance on this infrastructure, so deploying cloud will give you the advantage of experienced staff members. Instead of taking time to retrain employees, you can jump straight into utilizing and selling your cloud environment to end users.
Existing customers are an easy target market base, because you already know they want cloud services. Utilizing your current market and capitalizing on meeting their needs is one more way you can solidify your relationship with them. As you gain momentum among this group, you can move outward to new potential customers looking for the same type of services.
A billing system that has already been integrated throughout the entire cloud environment can meter it holistically for each virtual machine. This allows the cloud automation component to easily populate invoices for end users according to your schedule or chargeback departments for usage after a given amount of time. These invoices and chargebacks will show an overall amount and break out the charges per virtual machine to identify high usage sources. Not only can you bill for usage, cloud can be integrated into your existing system to send one seamless invoice.
Benefits for Customers
Since you have been doing business with your current customer base, you already have an existing relationship with people that trust and are comfortable with you and your products and services. Your customers are more likely to do business with a vendor that they trust and would rather keep their services bundled together through a single vendor. By offering cloud services to them, you can serve as this single vendor and foster a stronger relationship with them by completely meeting their needs.
Customers likely already have a billing account set up with your business for other services they purchase. Allowing them to purchase compute resources from you will simplify their new product addition because they will not need to set up a secondary billing account for those services. Using cloud automation, your customers will see their cloud usage rolled into the same billing statement as other products.
Applications that your customers want and need for their business are available on demand through a cloud environment. Using cloud-based applications coupled with cloud automation, your end users can remain in competition with even the largest players in their market. Cloud-based applications abstracts blanket licensing fees that are often cumbersome for small businesses. The ability to wrap these fees into monthly billing makes attaining costly applications feasible. This further assists them maintain their status as a viable solution for their customers because they have a comprehensive solution offering.
Cloud environments are obviously the next step for any business, whether they are offering cloud services or looking to purchase them to augment their current offerings. Cloud services provide an opportunity for every business as a revenue generator, playing field leveler or process streamliner. Finding how cloud services can most benefit your company and then capitalizing on those opportunities is your chance to get ahead in your market.