Key Components of a Successful Cloud Profitability Strategy – the Cloud Management Angle

The cloud is red hot, and as an MSP, you should be a full part of this action. One way to make a mark is by improving the economics of your client’s cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). The trick here is to manage client cloud workloads and track and manage usage so clients pay as little as possible for their cloud services.

Security is also paramount as more users are logging on to more cloud apps. Here, strong authentication is the name of the game.

Earlier this year at Kaseya Connect, General Manager, Cloud Computing Jim Lippie outlined both the cloud management and strong authentication service possibilities.

First, Lippie gauged whether the audience was truly ready for the cloud by asking three critical questions:

• How many of you have a comprehensive cloud strategy?
• How many of you think the cloud is your friend?
• How many of you provide clients with cloud, managed services, consulting, and BI?

By not embracing the cloud, you could be missing a huge opportunity. According to Lippie, cloud-provisioned office systems users are expected to grow 28.5 percent annually, and will hit 695 million users by 2022. This charge will be led by office productivity apps moving to SaaS.

This presents a world of opportunities for MSP cloud providers.

Monetizing the Cloud

Lippie offered three pieces of advice for MSPs looking to monetize the cloud.

1. Adopt a managed cloud offering, such as one driven by Unigma by Kaseya, which will increase profits and monthly recurring revenue.
2. Lead clients to your cloud management services and deter them from going directly to CSPs or public clouds.
3. Keep customers loyal and reduce churn with a “sticky” high-quality private label cloud solution.

The Unigma Value Proposition

As IT shops and MSPs move applications to the cloud, they need visibility and insight into what they are using and paying for. Often users buy a cloud service, keep adding workloads, and are shocked when the bill rises. With Unigma, those surprises come to an end.
Unigma is a unified cloud management platform that saves money, automates cloud management functions, and carefully monitors performance.

Keeping Costs in Check

Cloud services can be quite complex, with multiple tiers and hidden costs. For instance, prices can go up when new features are added, workloads increased, or capacity grows. A study by Research in Action found that 79 percent of the 486 IT respondents are worried about hidden cloud costs like these.

These issues are more troubling now that many enterprises are using multiple cloud services. “The Meta-Cloud, where enterprises use many different cloud service providers (CSP) is a significant trend in the adoption of off-premises cloud services,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., senior research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS Markit. “In a recent IHS Markit report, respondents indicated they expected to be using on average 8 different CSPs by 2018, which will drive the need for solutions making it easy to manage performance, automate application deployment and optimize costs for enterprises building Meta-Clouds.”

Unigma lets IT managers and MSPs understand their cloud costs in detail and offers tools to keep these costs in check. In fact, before you even sign a cloud contract you can use the Unigma cloud calculator to better understand the costs of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

In the latest version of the Unigma solution, users have full visibility and a unified single pane of glass view into multiple clouds, including costs analytics, with real-time views into all expenses.

With Unigma, IT admins and service directors can perform a thorough cloud cost analysis, including spotlighting cost savings through unused load balancers and databases as well as obtain total insight into the utilization and cost of cloud resources. This information offers precise and detailed recommendations on how to optimize your AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud spending.

Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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