Cloud billing is not a sexy subject. But billing is what keeps our businesses ticking. The challenge many service providers face is how to bill their customers for their cloud services.
Being able to meter and rate usage, whether it is for internal chargeback or simply to demonstrate what department is using what resources, requires 90% of a billing system; it might not send invoices, but it does the same thing. If you are a service provider offering a ‘wrapped cloud offering’ where one invoice is produced at the end of each month, which is not directly correlated to usage, you still need to know how much it is costing you. So, for just about every application of cloud within service providers, billing really matters.
Therefore listen to this podcast, where Tony Lucas discusses Metering and Billing and answers the questions:
– Why do I need Cloud Metering and Billing?
– What options are available to me for being able to Meter & Bill?
– What cloud resources can I bill for?
Does launching or differentiating your cloud services feel like a mission to Mars? Over the years, we’ve seen this be the case for many service providers. Customers want to build a cloud platform – they may jump in with both feet or take it in small steps, one at a time to avoid it becoming a mission to Mars. But, the change can easily balloon out of control. It can easily scare people for reasons that just are not real.
The challenge is that speed to market is important. As Michael Cote put it in a recent webinar:
…developers and agile shops are moving faster if operating in a more iterative fashion where every week or month they have a new release of a product. They are getting things to market at a much faster and more frequent rate and that same exact mechanism should bubble up to the cloud providers. Not only will cloud providers be able to learn from the market and discover what people actually want and the sort of dirty truth of the footnote there is not very many of us know exactly how the cloud market is going to shake out in three or five years. Many service providers are trying to create the baseline of functionality needed and learn from the market and even the end users don’t often know what they want no one. So in that case, it is better to be more iterative if you will.
Last month at WHD.global, we had many conversations with service providers and hosters that are looking at ways to grow their business through differentiating and adding value to their customer base. What struck me was that all of the people we spoke to were on a cloud journey; whether they were embarking on it or had deployed, but were looking to market the news services.
Service providers are at many stages of cloud delivery – what do you most identify with?
On the other hand, you have a growing market of cloud adoption, but 83% of end user companies are frustrated with having to cut through marketing hype to find out which solutions are genuine cloud offerings and which are merely conventional hosting services with the word ‘cloud’ added to the title.
We have talked the talk on how we get customers up and running on Flexiant in as little as seven days. Today, we’ve announced our latest success story – Cloud HPT Selects Flexiant and Deploys and Launches in 48 Hours . Our rapid time to market capabilities allowed Cloud HPT to stand up Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator to capture new customers and drive a completely new line of revenue in just two days.
That’s right, just two days. This is not just a marketing ploy; we are really getting service providers to market that quickly.
Located in the UAE, Cloud HPT is a new entrant to the Middle East’s cloud-based IT and business solutions marketplace delivering cloud services to partners and customers. Cloud HPT undertook a project to differentiate themselves from other service providers in the region. To achieve this, it required an easily deployable and adaptable cloud orchestration solution with self-service portal capabilities for customers to buy resources as required. When evaluating Flexiant, Cloud HPT was impressed with its experience in helping service providers offer IaaS capabilities and tools to differentiate. It was especially impressed with the speed to market available with such a robust, proven, scalable, and functional solution that comes “out-the-box”.
If you are somewhere on this journey to the cloud, and you want to build profitable cloud services that your customers will love, we’ve created a useful resource for you. Our Journey to the Cloud tool will ask you six straightforward questions and based on your responses create a bespoke content package to help you at whatever stage you are at.
A large proportion of the service provider market has not yet developed a true cloud offering. In fact, 83% of end user companies are frustrated with having to cut through marketing hype to find out which solutions are genuine cloud offerings and which are merely conventional hosting services with the word ‘cloud’ added to the title.