It’s no secret that the market to resell cloud servers is pretty hot right now. You might think you can build a decent cloud business on your own, but the truth is, that might not be the best approach. Going with a trusted cloud provider to resell cloud servers would probably be a better option. But, how do you choose a cloud partner program? There are literally hundreds of them out there and they all seem to be offering the same benefits.
To help you sort through the pros and cons, we’ve put together a 7-point guide that will show you exactly what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for a cloud partner program. Once you’ve read it, you should be ready to resell the best cloud servers on the market!
1- What kind of hardware do they use?
Start with the basics. What kind of hardware does the provider use? Is their platform put together with top-of-the-line equipment, or does it look more like some spare parts thrown together with chicken wire? In other words, do you recognize some of the brands they use? The right hardware is so important for speed and performance. Yet, we’ve heard many stories about cloud providers who are using seriously out-of-date equipment and being deliberately vague when it comes to talking about their hardware. Your potential partner shouldn’t be shy about explaining what kind of architecture and hardware goes into his solutions. For example, does he use enterprise-grade All-Flash SSD storage in all his solutions, or just in the more expensive models? You might be surprised to learn that All-Flash is only used on more expensive solutions offered by providers like Rackspace, Amazon Web Services and Softlayer. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If your partner is cutting corners on hardware, he might not be that interested in quality or reliability.
2- Do they have certified experts on staff?
It takes a wide variety of specialists to build and manage cloud infrastructure. How does your potential cloud server provider measure up? Does he have specialists on staff who are certified for the solutions he sells? Depending on what your partner sells, his staff should be certified in programs offered by Google, Microsoft, IBM or even VMware. A certified expert will be more knowledgeable and keep up to date with the rapid changes in IT. He’ll also have the skills required to implement and maintain the best cloud servers on the market. So ask about certifications. If your provider has the right specialists on staff, you can be assured his solutions are up to date, innovative and reliable.
3- Is there a redundancy plan?
Your clients want to know that the equipment you sell them will keep on running. What kind of availability does the cloud server hosting provider offer? Do they have a redundant infrastructure that will ensure your clients’ computing power, storage and applications are always available? When you’re shopping for a cloud server partner program , try to choose one that has N+2 redundancy. This means they have the equivalent of two backup servers in case of failure. You want to be sure that normal operations won’t be affected, no matter what happens. If you’re looking for this kind of service from other providers, you might be disappointed. Companies like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace expect you to manage your redundancy by yourself!
4- What about technical support?
When you choose a cloud server partner program, you want to be sure you’re getting the best technical support available. If your client needs help on a Sunday morning or even on New Year’s Eve, you want to be sure he can get it. Ever try calling a big company for technical support? It’s not always easy. While some big companies offer a great online knowledge base and help site, it can be pretty hard to find a real person on the phone when you need help. Make sure your provider offers free support 24/7/365 for every client, not just the managed services accounts. The support team should be based in North America and you should have several options to reach them, such as phone, email and chat. Their response time is also critical. Some providers make a point of answering telephone support calls in 40 seconds. Compare that with the 48 hours you might wait for some companies to resolve your support ticket. And calling outside regular office hours? Don’t even think about it. Some support departments have already gone home for the day . You should also try asking about their Net Promoter Score. This number measures the customer’s overall satisfaction with the company’s service, in this case, technical support. You might be surprised to learn how your provider stacks up!
5- What kind of help do they offer their resellers?
So, you’re interested in being part of the cloud server resellers community, but you need more information. Look for a cloud provider who offers access to solution specialists as part of their program. Some partners have a whole team of experts that will show you different ways to grow your business. These include business specialists who will teach you about the company’s solutions and products and provide you with the necessary tools. Have you been wondering about cloud server pricing? Some partner programs have dedicated consultants who can help you. You should also look for providers that offer webinars and workshops to develop new skills and learn about different kinds of markets for your solutions. If you’re a small reseller, you might not qualify for this kind of help.
6- How much money can you make?
Pay close attention to the partner program’s business model. Read the fine print and make sure you really understand the margins, spending thresholds and monthly fees. Some companies will try to lure you in with a 20% profit margin on all sales. Look closely, there might be strings attached. While it might seem easy to generate a 20% margin by selling $5,000 worth of solutions every month ($1,000), the provider might have other requirements. Read your contract closely and you might discover you have to generate a monthly recurring revenue of $100,000 to get that 20%! Moral of this story? Make sure the partner’s promises are legitimate and that you can realistically deliver the goods.
7- Do they charge migration fees?
We already talked about the kind of sales training that is available with some partner programs. But how about data migration? This is an important issue for a lot of clients. As a partner, do you have to do it yourself or will the cloud provider help? Some providers have a dedicated team of experts that will guarantee seamless migration and onboarding for free as part of their service. They can migrate data from any dedicated servers, windows cloud servers or any other cloud provider or on-premises solutions. Other providers will migrate your data, but you’ll pay for it. Remember, finding a partner that doesn’t charge you for migration means you can make higher margins or pass on the savings to your clients.
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