Companies, and the service providers who serve them, are migrating to the cloud in record numbers as cloud options become more diverse, cost-effective, and secure for all types of industries. Most business and IT leaders seek the help of cloud vendors to make managing cloud environments, and this transition easier. And though working with virtually any cloud vendors will accomplish this at first – companies need to be able to recognize signifiers of good, lasting relationships.
I’ve compiled three questions below that will help you determine if you are getting the right support and best ROI possible from your current cloud vendor, and if they are committed to helping you build and maintain a successful cloud business.
Does your vendor maintain superior product quality? One of the primary reasons to drop your cloud vendor is product quality, or perhaps their failure to recognize that the industry is changing rapidly and the willingness to adapt alongside it. Nothing else matters if a vendor’s product is not best-in-class, so it’s not surprising that this is why so many vendors lose business in the competitive cloud ecosystem. Keep this in mind – as your vendor could’ve been a standalone leader years ago when you first partnered, and they now could be lagging due to failure to maintain and innovate. If your vendor isn’t providing new products, upgrades, and comprehensive customer service to support it – find yourself a competing solution that does.
Are your vendor relationship managers engaged? If your relationship managers aren’t committed to building a relationship and helping your business to grow and succeed, there are plenty of vendors out there who would jump at the chance to compete for your business by providing the counsel and support you need. Signifiers of a good manager could include if they offer you a recent white paper their company has written or share industry reports, invite you to accompany them to an industry event, ask you to join a learning opportunity such as a webinar, or routinely ask for what feedback you have on their service and product.
Is your vendor continually adding value? My former CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, often says that a company’s past success does not define or predict their future. Each day a cloud vendor needs to come in and continue to win your business anew. This is especially true in the burgeoning cloud ecosystem with so many vendors, replacement options, and new technologies emerging daily. Vendors need to ensure their product or service helps position you as a thought leader in front of your customers and helps you to acquire new customers. Credible cloud vendors will provide you with a clear Conditions of Satisfaction that defines their relationship with you, and ideal cloud vendors will provide services and insights beyond just offering you a product – like providing sales and marketing help or sharing industry knowledge and reports.
Building partnerships is one of the most exciting and satisfying elements of the cloud ecosystem, and a company's success can very much be defined by which vendors they choose to align themselves relative to their competitors’ choices. Make sure you choose wisely and regularly monitor how your cloud vendor relationships are evolving to ensure you are benefiting as much as possible. And remember, a vendor needs to win your business every single day for you to both be successful.
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