MSP Advice Project: Article - The Cloud

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The Cloud

Conversations with clients about cloud migration can be challenging. Our MSP Advisors are here with ideas on how to position those conversations, and how to set expectations for what good looks like from a technology perspective.

November 05, 2018


Question: Has migrating to the cloud been an easy conversation?

Chris Taylor: I think customers today are much more receptive to looking at all the cloud offerings and it really varies client to client, how far they want to take that call, but I think they're much more comfortable. They've been doing a lot of things in the cloud for quite a while. It's just helping them understand what pieces of their business make more sense to start and move to the cloud.

Jamie Wolbeck: Most of our organizations that we work with - if they have a complete distrust for the cloud - we still offer solutions that are purely on-prem. That could mean their backup replicates to another offsite location that they have. Again, our guiding principles say that's not the right thing to do, but if they are wed to a certain way of doing work, that doesn't prevent us from working together. When we have those conversations around whether or not they should go to cloud, it's pretty much that all of our clients are comfortable with a hybrid model. They have some stuff on-prem and some stuff in the cloud, but they're very particular about what they are okay with being in the cloud. Backup tends to be the easiest one, like, ‘okay, you can send my backups stuff in the cloud as long as it's encrypted in transit and at rest I don't really care as long as it's somewhere safe and you can retrieve it if I need it.’ The second is email in the cloud. They've used it so long, and I think a lot of them have had so many issues or concerns or problems with exchange servers in the past to cloud. Moving to the cloud is pretty easy for them it becomes a no brainer because they just don't want to experience those issues anymore. But, that's kind of where a thin line is drawn right now. Moving certain applications, if they've got an EMR or certain hosted App, they might be more okay with that. If it started on-prem and they need to migrate it to the cloud again, they start being a little more... I call it standoffish about moving to the cloud. Those conversations we have with them are really just about setting expectations. For me, I don't care if they want to stay on-prem and we can make that work in a way that meets their expectations. Absolutely, we'll support that all day. We'll continue working with the client.  If they want to move to the cloud there, we'll do the same thing. It's just about making sure we're on the same page, that we all understand the expectations and that, that conversation continues. So, it's not just a set it and forget it. We’ve got to keep saying this is what good looks like or making changes if something new comes out.

Fred Alonzi: I think cloud and cloud security are the two questions I get asked the most when I’m at  a trade booth or a phone call. People either love the cloud or hate the cloud - and we're in the middle. We try to be agnostic and show them the benefits of the cloud and some of the drawbacks. t Par3 by our nature we offer the solutions. We don't care which solution you take; if you want to be in house with your servers, if you might be totally outsourced - we even do co-location.  We can provide them with the pros and cons of any of those solutions. And we help them understand the pros and cons to let them make the decision. But, so many people talk about the cloud and like I said, it's with the prospect of clients, it's either an all-in or all-out. Either they absolutely don't want to touch the cloud, or they want to get rid of all their infrastructure and get into the cloud. There is very little halfway. We can help them in either direction and again, we provide the pros and cons and let our customers make a good business decision. We offer our own private cloud and private cloud backup. And I think it's a good middle ground for clients who aren't quite ready to store everything in the cloud because they've heard of those disasters where someone has hacked into their cloud account, stolen all their backups or stolen all their data. We've offered our own private cloud now for about four years so, we are able to offer them the best of any solution if they want to go to the cloud and we’ll support that. If they want a private cloud that we can provide, that's great. Or if they want to stay kind of in-house with their own backups, we will support that, too. We don't like to dictate to our clients. We like to give them the options, give them the business case, and let them make their own mind up. I would say that most clients make up their mind that is not for cloud backup. Typically, it's for a private cloud backup or to keep the backups onsite maybe at a remote office.


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