Well, the “cloud computing” fever is hitting a peak as more and more MSPs are jumping on the bandwagon. Apparently the Office 365 release is causing a number of businesses to ask their IT company, “What the heck is cloud computing?”
At a minimum, you need to be talking to your clients about what cloud computing is, and how (or if) it can help their business—even if you aren’t offering a full- blown cloud solution yet. Hear me loud and clear: If you don’t take steps to educate your clients and at least TALK to them about what’s going on, you risk losing them to a competitor who WILL. That’s not to say you have to have a solution ready for them to buy right now—although in some cases, you will have clients who want it and want it NOW. But at a minimum you should be acting like a reporter—investigating the pros and cons and separating the hype from the facts to deliver a well-researched, professional opinion. Don’t forget, that’s a HUGE part of the value you bring to your clients.
At the very least, you need to sign up for Office 365 and take it for a spin. You should also be talking to and looking at various cloud aggregator services to find out what they deliver and what the benefits are—in fact, ask each of them to talk to 3-5 of their partners to get a feel for pros and cons of each solution. And, if you ARE planning on selling a cloud solution, eat your own dog food and move your network to the cloud so you can speak from candid, real-time experience.
One of my Producers Club Members, Pam Viveiros of ThinkTech Computers Inc., is doing an excellent job in communicating with her clients about cloud computing; in doing so, she was asked to be interviewed by a local radio station on what cloud computing is and how it can benefit a business or person using it.