Data, IT infrastructure and compute environment are the backbone of any business. Therefore when entrusting the management of that to a cloud service provider, you want to make sure you choose correctly. Look for a trusted partner – a company that will truly align its priorities with your priorities. Building a solid relationship with your CSP is paramount and will allow you to have the peace of mind to focus on the things that drive your business.
So how do you go about building that trusted relationship? Ask the right questions from the start and trust your instincts.
Sitting down, face-to-face with prospective providers is a recommended approach to vetting. Make sure they listen to your problems and then offer solutions. It should be more than selling. At Expedient, we offer whiteboard sessions in any of our 11 data centers or in your office to fully discuss what you are looking for, what you think you need and what problems you may be experiencing.
“I would absolutely recommend a sit-down to discuss the problem (with Expedient), because that partnering, that dialogue, that back and forth is something that flipped the switch for us. We’d done a 180 in the course of that meeting, so actually sitting down and going through that discussion with Expedient is really what I would recommend,” says Bill O’Neil, Chief Technology Officer with Interactive Blue, a full-service Web and database design software development company.
Discuss with the potential provider its on-boarding process. Will a dedicated team of professionals be working with you throughout the whole implementation and deployment of your contract? Are you able to reach a live person 24/7/365? If customer service is truly important to the provider, you will know it by how these questions are answered. Also do not be afraid to get references and customer testimonials. Ensure that the way you work and plan to implement enmeshes with the way the provider works. You must have a mutually inclusive and compatible relationship from the get go if the partnership will be successful long term.
Thoroughly discuss all of the managed services offered even if you do not need the services in the near term. You may need to add services in 1-2 years and you want to look at the big picture so your provider is a one-stop shop instead of needing to migrate again in just a few years or diversify services to multiple providers. Having all of your IT managed services controlled by one CSP ensures everything is compatible and that your CSP knows all aspects of your managed IT. This creates less room for error.
Bryan Smith serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Expedient and brings more than 21 years of experience in the Telecommunications and Technology industries to his role. He oversees strategic growth planning and business development for Expedient. Bryan was one of the initial employees of Expedient in 2001 and has been instrumental in identifying expansion/acquisition opportunities within the Pittsburgh, Boston, Columbus, and Memphis markets.