As a cloud provider you have a very real opportunity to generate revenue by helping businesses transition to the cloud and away from traditional on-premise models. In fact, the global Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market will post a CAGR of 43% from 2015-2019 according to ReportsnReports. With this increase in the adoption of cloud services, businesses will be looking for your assistance and expertise.
Opportunity creates competition.
The opportunity created by growth in cloud services also creates more competition. How do you give yourself a competitive advantage to increase your sales of cloud services?
A number of things come to mind – having a quality cloud infrastructure, strong customer service, scalable operations, and a sharp sales team; but the right technology for doing business is just as critical.
Let’s assume you’ve got the cloud infrastructure, and the right team, but are lacking a portal to help conduct business quickly and efficiently across your organization, and depending on your business model, across distributors, resellers and end clients.
With all of the potential dependencies and services involved, the right portal can dramatically change your go-to-market strategy, and give you a significant edge in the marketplace.
Here are some of the portal features that we believe give you that edge.
1. Self-service option.
Not everyone is comfortable giving up control even when they’ve chosen to move to the cloud from the traditional on-premise model. Offering the ability for customers to consume and provision their own IT resources in a matter of minutes is a huge value add, so make sure your portal can support it.
2. Ability to support a multi-channel environment.
Whether selling through channels, or working directly with end clients, your portal should support any go-to-market model. Look for technology that can adapt to changes over time. You may sell direct today, but it’s good to know that you can just as easily build a strong partner network, all managed from the same portal.
3. White labelling capabilities.
If you are supporting multiple channels to market, you need to offer a white labelled experience for your partners. It’s important that they own the relationship with their customers.
4. Automatic provisioning.
Automated IaaS provisioning saves time and allows you to get customers up and running more quickly. This is one feature that helps you scale by taking much of the traditional, manual work out of the equation, and lets you begin billing immediately for a newly provisioned service, while offering the highest level of customer service at the same time.
5. Integrating your own products.
If you have your own products available, you’ll want to integrate ordering, selling and billing into existing workflows. A portal that allows you to customize and brand your cloud product catalogue will simplify operations and reduce costs.
6. Billing and invoicing.
A portal that has chargeback and billing/invoicing capability is a huge operational advantage. Having automated metering, billing and invoicing available for each level in the distribution channel, and for all types of cloud services, makes managing your business much easier.
Look for a portal that supports all potential billing types – credit card, prepaid, pay as you go, postpaid, etc. If you’re business is international, then it should also support multiple currencies and timezones.
7. No development required.
Perhaps your biggest advantage to finding the right portal is not having to develop software (in-house or otherwise) to meet your business needs. It’s not just the development of an in-house solution that costs money – the ongoing support and adding new features can be expensive.
The right portal enables business.
Whether you grow your revenue by opening up new markets, or by introducing new products and services to your portfolio, a portal that adapts to your existing workflows, while enhancing your offerings means you can do business more efficiently without disrupting your current operations. Technology should be the right kind of disruptive – the “what did we do before this” kind.
AirVM has you covered.
Not surprisingly, our own AirSembly software is a portal with all of these capabilities. For cloud providers who are partnered with VMware, we can support your VCloud Director, and soon your vCloud Air environments.
If you’re currently searching for a software marketplace portal and would like to know more about AirVM and AirSembly we invite you to contact us. We’d be more than happy to work with you on a solution for selling your cloud services.
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