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Helping your customers choose a cloud provider

08.07.2022 | Shannon McWilliams

Key considerations include customer requirements, preference and business constraints

Helping your customers choose a cloud provider requires asking the right questions so you know their specific needs, preferences and restrictions.

Without oversimplifying a major digital investment, helping them select a hyperscaler is a lot like buying a car. Questions to consider include: What’s it being used for other than getting from point A to point B? Is speed more important than comfort or is traversing off-road terrain the number-one ask? Have you had favorable or unpleasant experiences with a brand in the past?

Understandably, IT solution and service providers want to give sound advice to their customers regarding which cloud provider to choose, but it requires more than listing out the features and cloud services available. Although those are important to know, selecting the right provider (or combination of several) comes from you helping your customer pinpoint their needs and past experience.

Statista report shows Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads the $180-billion cloud pack, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud and IBM Cloud. Arrow has strong ties to all the five largest.

So, how do you help your customers choose? It all depends…

Consider customer needs and past experience

Before suggesting a certain hyperscaler, you must drill down and figure out their requirements and bias. Otherwise, you’re throwing a dart in the wall, which is rarely a good approach to winning and keeping business.

Because every hyperscaler will get your customers from point A to point B, think back to the automobile analogy. But what’s their most prevalent need? If they sell XYZ, a particular cloud provider might rise to the top.

For instance, if your customer uses Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics, a line of ERP and CRM software applications, Azure might be the logical choice. AWS has broad and deep artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services, so if that’s important to your customer, AWS could be the wise choice. Bias weighs heavily into the equation, too. If your customer is a major retailer, they may be hesitant to go with AWS for competitive reasons, but Microsoft or Google may be perfectly suitable.

Bottom line is that choosing one of these cloud providers is not a cut-and-dry formula. Customer requirements and established preferences are a major part of the equation. Hyperscalers are building clouds according to where they shine — so, the more familiar you are with where they are headed, the better your recommendations to customers.

Look to Arrow for guidance

So, let’s say a customer comes to you with a strong preference for Google Cloud but you’re more familiar with Azure and AWS. This is exactly the type of situation where you can call on Arrow to help your customer find the right fit. We have a deep, broad understanding of the major hyperscalers and can help present multicloud options to be sure you help them make the right choice.

Arrow can arm you with the right questions to ask and then use that information to suggest the best-fitting cloud or multicloud option. Once your customers decide and are consuming cloud services, ArrowSphere enables you to monitor cloud consumption and have visibility into metrics to help you guide your customer to optimize their cloud consumption.

Consider cloud hyperscalers carefully

Just remember this: if your customers are considering a move to the cloud, you can help remove the barriers to cloud migration by facilitating the right relationship, with Arrow’s help.

One is not better than the other — all of these hyperscalers are rock-solid providers, as evidenced by their strong market positions. Rather, one or the right combination of a few will be the best fit depending on customers’ needs, preferences and business constraints.

By asking the right questions and leaning on Arrow when you aren’t familiar with a particular provider, you’re sure to make the right recommendation so they find the right fit.

What comes next?

Now that we’ve covered some of the top cloud provider options, what comes next? Arrow can provide the cloud delivery and management platform, technical solution architecture and sales support to help you fully support your customers in their continued journey to the cloud.

We’re here to help you help your customers not only choose the best hyperscaler(s) for their business needs, but also provide the extensive support that comes with cloud services delivery.

Contact us and we’ll set up time to talk through how we can best support you and your customers