Cloud Solutions

Five tips to use when evaluating cloud providers for your customer

By Cory Dzbinski / Dec 19, 2019

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Ask your customer what they need to accomplish

Start with all the key stakeholders to determine the business goals and objectives for the desired product. What problems are they trying to solve? Until you're on the same page, the cloud provider doesn't matter.


Consult with others

Talk to buyers at other companies and what they are using. Check out the research done by organizations like Forrester or Gartner. Ask your other vendors and suppliers whom they would recommend. Referrals are golden, seek them out and treat them like a valued resource.


Ask vendors, what is your specialty?

When you have a potential vendor, don’t jump right into discussing services and pricing. First, ask them, “What do you specialize in?” Vendors that can't answer this question, or say they're good at everything, may not be as good as you'd like them to be. Every business is unique, so you want someone who has the right cloud to solve the customer problems. You want a cloud provider that is alisnged with the business goals you would have established with the first question.


What services are offered?

Obviously, you want to know what services a prospective cloud provider offers. The key is to spread a very wide net with your questions.

  • What services do they offer that will meet the customer's current needs.
  • What services do they offer that will meet your customer's potential future needs.
  • How will their services will integrate with all of the customer's other IT services.

Think about integration. Assume that at some point the cloud will be integrated with every IT service your customer has, handle every application, affect every process, and touch every person in the organization. It may not happen for years, but we have to assume that it will.


How does the pricing work?

The key here is to avoid potential hidden (or misunderstood) costs. Avoid being quoted the bare minimum and then having to add on services and inflate costs beyond what your customer understood would be their average. To be sure that you have all the pricing facts, target questions around services, security, backup, storage, recovery, maintenance, scaling both horizontally and vertically, etc.