July Newsletter: Your Guide to Changes in the Cloud

July Newsletter

Each month we strive to bring you the latest developments in cloud computing. And that’s why tomorrow we have invited 451 Research and IBM to discuss why you should care about big data and the rise of Spark. Stay up to date with the latest developments in the industry by registering now.

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Three Questions Resellers Should Ask before Partnering with a Cloud Provider

Cloud Provider

96 percent of resellers now offer some form of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) to their customers to a greater or lesser degree, according to global research. This includes managing customer assets on-premises, off-premises hosting or public cloud services.

The potential is massive, however the barriers to entry for a small systems integrator or reseller are huge if they hope to offer the entire service themselves. Most suppliers will find it easier and more practical – at least initially – to use an established cloud provider and resell the service to their customers. This is great news for cloud service providers looking to increase revenue from new lines of business.
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Whitepaper Wednesday’s Present Public Cloud Step-by-Step

Whitepaper Wednesday

As the summer winds down this week with the last of the holidays, vacations and some even heading back to school, we bring you our sixth Whitepaper Wednesday. Designed to help service providers maximize the cloud service opportunity, our whitepapers look to deliver valuable insight when growing a cloud business.

Many service providers are claiming that they offer cloud services. But are they actually offering ‘cloud’ services – the provisioning of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and managed services on an on-demand basis? In this comprehensive step-by-step guide we explore what service providers need to do to capture the cloud market and to not lose foothold to private cloud deployments.
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Reseller “Must Haves”: Multiple Cloud Metering and Billing Models

If you are considering expanding your cloud services through the reseller model, there are 10 ‘must haves’ needed to support this strategy.  Smart service providers are already gaining reach through other organizations’ existing relationships and resources by maximizing resellers’ vertical and industry-specific expertise and geographic coverage without requiring heavy investment in sales and marketing. This model offers huge possibilities in terms of revenue growth without significant investment to build your own resources and presence.

Our latest whitepaper outlines the 10 ‘must haves’ for cloud service providers to support a cloud reseller channel. Whether you are looking to resell through a single tier or multiple tier of resellers, these ‘must-haves’ apply. Here is a quick look at one of those ‘must haves’.

 

iStock_000000093176XSmallMultiple Cloud Metering and Billing Models

Service providers worry about complex metering and billing situations associated with the cloud services reseller model. Where a service provider resells infrastructure to another reseller and then another (a reseller, of a reseller, of a reseller, for example), a cloud orchestration solution that can support the complex nature of billing for this becomes essential. It should easily incorporate full transparency of how resources are metered and billed according to a cloud reseller’s strategy.

Metering needs to be highly granular with the ability to attribute use of resources to each reseller and its customers. The metering and billing must be provided in detail to easily identify cloud usage across all resellers, however many layers, and their customers. One analyst anecdotally commented recently about the importance of this multi-tiered metering and billing model. Without it, your reseller strategy will not get off the ground because you won’t have the capability to meter and bill accurately, which means scalability is not an option.
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The Importance Of Flexible Cloud Billing Capabilities

When it comes to cloud billing, identifying the best option to offer your customers can be quite a head scratcher. As a service provider, you need payment for the services you provide (obviously!), and at the same time, you want your customers to have a clear understanding of what they receive in return for payment.

Simple enough I hear you say, but in reality service providers are not in a position to offer such simple cloud billing solutions because it is a much more complicated and expensive process to solve on your own.

During a recent cloud service market survey conducted by us, initial results show that 70% of the respondents are offering their customers self-service provisioning. Though this is an important capability, some 63% of respondents stated that two such important capabilities to offer their customers in the future would be granular metering and granular billing.

Glossy Blue Cloud with ShadowBut why wait to offer granular metering and billing, when a cloud orchestration solution that incorporates this functionality and self-service provisioning can do the job right now? Cloud customers expect real-time billing, instant sign-up and their bill to be comprehensive, so they can see, line-by-line, what has been used and in what capacity. At the same time cloud providers expect their billing systems to work at scale, instantly reflect new products or promotions, and be up-and-running as quickly as the service itself. Both of these expectations can be met with cloud orchestration.

For the service provider, cloud orchestration can offer:

  • Metering – For monitoring which resources (e.g. CPU, RAM, network I/O and disk I/O) are being used.
  • Product catalogues – Having the ability to define the various ways of charging for each product on the system.
  • Rating – Being able to charge to the metered use by combining it with the relevant product.
  • Invoicing – The ultimate need – being able to charge the customer for the service they’ve used.
  • Collection – Ability to take payment from the customer.

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