Simon Xistouris, managing director, Klikon Solutions
We made a big investment in our platform and customers are signing up for three to four years. But some require public cloud using the big guys for low-cost deployments. And others want more in terms of service-level agreements (SLAs) and governance. That means our people are talking to customers and providing dedicated service-delivery managers. Customers want to speak to a person and not just have automated dashboards. We have change managers, QA managers, a service desk that all comes to the front. Behind that it could be our tin, storage or a cloud service. Customers now buy based on our name. People have moved on from technical discussions about IOPs and CPU – it’s not even a discussion any more, provided we’re offering the SLAs and the engagement model.
Matt Poole, owner, Interakt IT
That gap between manufacturer and end user can never be bridged such that you can’t have a middleman. I’m a proponent of letting Rackspace be Rackspace, the client be the client and as a service provider, I value-add in between. Where that places MSPs like me is to ask Rackspace to white label its infrastructure so I appear as my own data centre. We don’t put margins on Rackspace; we project manage and charge for consultancy. Our value is even less tied to a supplier and more to the client now. What’s exciting about Azure is the technical interaction: scripting to interact with servers onsite. The sysadmin will become a scripting jack-of-all-trades across VMware and Hyper-V who knows how to manipulate systems they’re using but not own them.
George Kazangi, managing director, BlueCentral
We do two types of hybrid cloud where the customer has their own infrastructure and also uses us. Some of our larger customers have enterprise agreements with Microsoft and they’re coming to us because Azure doesn’t do everything or they want it managed. Azure is great as a community hosting product. It fits well in anything that can be hyper-scaled but where there’s specialised customer applications, proprietary software or in-house corporate IT systems some things may not fit. Customers asking for hybrid make us accountable for business outcomes. The only way it works is consumption-based billing. We’re sharing the risk with our customers – it’s easier as BlueCentral where we own and operate your own infrastructure.