3 Best Practices for Building a Robust Cloud Business
SunGard Availability Services - Cloud Series, Part III
You've identified who your buyers are within an organization. Now what? To build a robust cloud practice—one that capitalizes on the opportunity a maturing cloud market presents—you need to be savvy about the value-added services you offer, the talent you hire and the partnerships you form and nurture. Those who do will deliver the outcome-driven solutions that customers demand and that accelerate monthly recurring revenue (MRR) growth.
Focus on recurring value-added services: To evolve your practice beyond the basic refer/resell model and build increased customer loyalty, it's critical that your business delivers solutions with the right recurring value-added services for your customer base/prospects at the right pricing. In fact, the recurring value-added services you wrap around your cloud solutions will be key to transforming your business model. Think of recurring value-added services as the gift that keeps on giving to your business: they are the means to long-term MRR.
Invest in the right talent: According to recent CompTIA research, more than half of the U.S. IT firms that are actively recruiting candidates to fill open IT positions indicate the need for new skills in such areas as software development, IoT or data transformation. Recruiting and retaining top talent with cloud skill sets and experience can be challenging. We recommend a multi-prong approach to talent acquisition and retention that is based on a foundation of a strong company culture that ensures existing employees are nurtured, empowered and rewarded for their work. Inspired employees will recruit for you and draw new talent into the organization. In addition, it's essential to cultivate young talent from universities, trade schools, etc., so you can build an economical bench with the cloud DNA needed to fuel your business over the long term.
Build strategic partnerships: Customers should be at the center of every partner relationship. Organizations that build partnerships with complementary vendors that keep this in mind will deliver blended solutions that address joint customer challenges while also creating a thriving joint revenue stream. One key challenge in partnering is to determine how the organizations will share revenue. Deals can be broken into fixed and recurring revenues. Fixed revenues include consulting and other professional services, engineering services, as well as migration and integration services. Recurring revenues include platform fees, monitoring, support and help desk services. Establish agreements around the revenue split of each of these going into the deal so everyone understands how they will get paid. Then, you can focus on solving your customers' challenges together.
In our next post, we'll take a look at the two-step process for discovering and qualifying cloud opportunities.