In our last blog, part 1 of the “Are VARs and MSPs the New Dinosaurs?” series, we tracked the evolution of the cloud’s popularity, looking at emerging technologies and market-driven factors. We also started to define the needs that today’s forward-looking companies have, and we advanced a few explanations as to why most VARs (value-added resellers) and MSPs (managed services providers) struggle to meet those needs after an Oracle Cloud migration.
In today’s article, part 2 of the series, we’ll discuss why it’s critical for modern tech providers to focus on innovation, both for themselves and for their clients, and you’ll find out how to determine if your VAR and MSP are innovators.
Innovation in Consulting
Your business must have access to the right tech advice, at the right time, so you can respond decisively to market changes and pull ahead of your competition. To ensure you have a good advisor, it’s critical that you choose a consultant with in-depth industry and technical knowledge.
The reason you need strong expertise is because cloud consulting is far more complex than the traditional, legacy consulting of yesteryear.
With legacy products, VARs and consultants only had to learn about the specific add-on solutions their companies offered, and ISVs (independent software vendors) typically offered training and support to the VARs they partnered with – meaning that customers could safely rely on having product expertise when they needed it. Implementation timelines were also slower for legacy products, with some implementations delaying go-live until years after the initial consultations.
In comparison to those sedate timelines and predictable product lines, the relentless agility found in the cloud seems like the Wild West.
In order to handle the intensity of the cloud, your company needs to prepare its data, processes, and overall mindset so you can adjust to the constantly evolving maelstrom that defines the cutting-edge cloud landscape. An experienced cloud consultant will be able to quickly identify whether or not your company is cloud ready and he or she can help you reach cloud readiness as fast as possible by leveraging proven methodologies and accelerators appropriate to your needs.
A knowledgeable cloud consultant will also help you navigate the ever-changing cloud landscape, so you can continually optimize your cloud solution.
New products and opportunities hit the Oracle Cloud Marketplace all the time and standardized APIs (application programming interfaces) make it possible to potentially link any and every third-party add-on to your cloud solution. These endless linkages create almost infinite options for consultants to consider and recommend to you.
And since tech is their job, you should expect your cloud consultant to carefully consider and recommend the latest cloud tools to you – but not every solution is a good fit, and your consultant should be able to narrow their suggestions to only the right options for your specific needs.
An experienced, innovative Oracle Cloud consultant will understand and be able to clearly explain how your various options enhance or detract from your recommended solution, and they’ll have the full-stack experience (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) that helps them weigh the costs, capabilities, and risks of each of your cloud options against your overall business objectives.
To identify an innovative consultant for your Oracle Cloud migration, ask candidates about their cloud experience. Since Oracle Cloud is relatively new, most consultants are limited to the knowledge they’ve gained in the past 2-7 years. Keep an ear out for companies that say they’ve worked with cloud technologies longer than that. If your consultant can back up his or her claims with verifiable cloud experience, you know you’ve found an innovator who predicted the rise of the cloud and prepared their skillsets accordingly.
Innovation in Implementation
There’s another reason why the cloud is like the Wild West: data security. Though today’s public cloud solutions provide around-the-clock physical protection and failover data protection, which makes them more secure than their on-premises counterparts, those protections only come into place once your business data is stored on the cloud.
However, getting your business data onto the cloud can be dicey if you mistakenly choose the wrong implementer.
Today’s Oracle Cloud migrations happen faster than any implementations in the past, with go-live timelines measured in weeks instead of months or years. Considering that databases and applications often have to be streamlined and re-architected to run efficiently on the cloud, today’s implementers often have to work at a blistering pace to keep up with client deadlines.
Though a complacent VAR may be content to work their team around the clock and risk a few mistakes with your data, an innovative implementer will never accept any level of data loss for your business. To ensure your data security, innovators are likely to create their own AI or automation-focused intellectual property, so they can ensure that every one of their implementations is completed with a consistent high level of service and detail.
In addition to leveraging in-house IP, the most innovative implementation teams will also have:
- Large, integrated teams with highly varied skillsets and proven experience
- Creative mix-and-match recommendations for various Oracle Cloud products
- Clear maps and templates to help your business seamlessly adopt your new tech
When you’re ready for your Oracle Cloud migration, look for an expert that provides end-to-end services that give you full support during every stage of the process, and make sure your provider hires and retains the best talent for your industry’s core and non-core solutions (for example, ERP and add-ons).
Innovation in Ongoing Support
The keyword of the cloud is agility, which means that when you have a cloud-based business solution, you’ll have the power to constantly optimize your technology to meet your evolving needs.
Here’s the thing though: it’s a little hard to constantly evolve your solution if your consultant and implementer consider their job done after your go-live.
Today’s innovative tech providers understand that when their clients choose the cloud, they’re also choosing a culture and mindset of continuous improvement. That’s why the most innovative providers stand by their clients, building long-term relationships and becoming their clients’ trusted tech advisors.
Providers must take their advisement responsibilities seriously because there are a lot of options out there – and more are created every day.
In fact, the continual opportunity for ongoing business evolution is one of the competitive differentiators for the Oracle Cloud. Since Oracle is the one of the largest cloud providers in the industry, ISVs continually add new products and solutions to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
But if your company doesn’t know about the newest solutions available, then you’re not taking advantage of all the new options on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. And that means you’re not taking advantage of true cloud agility.
What a waste.
In addition to advising on critical strategic solution enhancements, innovative providers will also have the capability to support their clients’ cloud solutions by performing the traditional duties of an MSP: management, backup and testing, IT administration, and security patching.
If you can find one of the few combination consultant / implementer / MSPs for the Oracle ecosystem, you’ll be able to tap into the convenience of a one-stop shop for all your ongoing cloud evolution needs – and since this mix of services is incredibly rare, you can be pretty sure that the tech provider you’ve chosen is a true innovator in the business space.
Since most MSPs focus on taking care of all the dull, administrative IT work for their clients, it’s pretty easy to spot an innovator: they’re the ones who can help you plan for and optimize your IT services and cloud solution, so you can best support your business strategy. Be warned though, it’s much harder to find a strategic, forward-thinking MSP than you’d expect.
Can Your Tech Provider Meet Your Needs?
Cloud computing has a relatively short history, but the popularity of the cloud is growing. Though providers are catching up as fast as they can, it’s a rare thing to find a single provider who can meet all your consulting, implementation, and support needs.
Even rarer still is the single provider who meets your consulting, implementation, and support needs so well that they’ve become a leader in the cloud marketplace.
In fact, that’s so rare that we only know of one company who has done it.
For the past 20 years, Centroid has consistently remained ahead of the curve by staffing the widest range of industry experts, the most knowledgeable programmers and IT consultants, and the leading minds in the Oracle ecosystem. We predicted the rise of the cloud, which is why we set up a full-service, integrated, end-to-end cloud solution to support our clients—some of the leading Fortune 500 companies—with innovative, exemplary tech products that help them drive their businesses forward.
Quite simply, if you’re looking for in-depth knowledge about your cloud options, the full-stack of Oracle solutions, and how the two can work together to empower your organization with faster, better operations and decision-making capabilities, it’s time you spoke with the experts at Centroid.
Find out how far your company can grow when you finally have access to the in-depth cloud knowledge you deserve. Contact Centroid online to learn more.