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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Which Cloud Based IT Service Is Right for You?: Coach's Corner Episode 9

Posted June 23, 2015by Ray Vrabel

Bring it in, team. In this latest episode of Continuum Coach's Corner, we're going over the many cloud based IT services you can provide to your clients. Huddle up with me, Coach Raymond Vrabel, Director of Technical Account Management at Continuum, as I give you the lowdown on the various types of cloud service offerings. You're the technology expert, but it's vital that you can explain cloud computing to business professionals and decision makers who aren't necessarily savvy on the topic. As a technology expert, you'll need to advise them on which form of cloud computing is best suited for their needs. Tune in!

 

 


Below you'll find a still of today's whiteboard and a transcription of the lesson:


Coachs-Corner-Board

 

Video Transcription:

Welcome back to another edition of Coach's Corner. I'm Raymond Vrabel, director of Technical Account Management here at Continuum. And today we're going to be discussing how cloud-based IT services can benefit SMBs.

Cloud computing is undeniably one of the most talked about topics in business technology today. Nearly all SMBs have heard that the cloud is transforming the way their peers do business. Yet for many of these businesses, the cloud is seen as nothing more than hype or an IT buzz word. SMBs often resist change because they fear the risks and cost associated with investing in new technologies. They may lack the knowledge and support needed to make decisions properly.

You're the technology expert, but it's vital that you can explain cloud computing to business professionals and decision makers who aren't necessarily technology savvy. And as a technology expert, you'll need to advise them on which form of cloud computing is best suited for their needs.

Most SMBs have neither the hardware budget nor the internal knowledge and support required on their own to manage a sizable network or internal infrastructure. Fortunately, the cloud does a great job a leveling the playing field. So in short, it gives small businesses the ability to conduct large-scale business operations even on a tight budget.

It's important to keep it simple when explaining what type of cloud options are out there. So let's discuss the public cloud. It's the game changer for SMBs. It's low cost. It's highly agile and highly available. Infrastructure is both owned and operated by a third party, and data and applications are easily accessible online.

Then we have hybrid cloud. This is a combination of both internal and external cloud resources. It's really best suited for organizations who want to maintain their own infrastructure but also leverage public cloud services to respond when there's spikes in usage. And then there's the private cloud. It's a single tenant environment with dedicated hardware and infrastructure. Private clouds really require a combination of in-house and/or third party management, and generally you won't see these in the SMB space.

So you're client might say, "Okay, there's the cloud. What is it going to do for me?" So then there are usually three cloud services you can talk about. So let's discuss software as a service or SAAS. It's arguably the most popular form of cloud computing today. A SAAS could allow for fully licensed and maintained software applications to be delivered via the internet either on demand or on a subscription basis.

Then we have platform as a service. Platform as a service really allows businesses to leverage a third party framework for the creation, development, and testing of their own software without having to make big purchases or maintain the underlying software and all that infrastructure to support it.

Then we have infrastructure as a service. This is a scalable virtualized outsourcing of an entire IT infrastructure. That includes the servers, the storage, even the network hardware which allows the SMBs to maintain control over their software environment.

Now let's discuss some core cloud benefits. Your SMBs may still not be convinced that cloud computing is a smart move for their business. We'll discuss a quick list of seven cloud competencies that really showcases some of the "out of the box" benefits they can enjoy when making the leap to the cloud.

First, there's minimizing cost. Small business can see significant cost savings. And they can achieve this leveraging the scalability and pay-as-you-go models that minimize on-site physical storage, hardware and internal IT staff and requirements that the cloud has to offer.

Then there's access. Anytime, anywhere, users can access, share and collaborate in a cloud whenever and wherever. This allows for better collaboration among their team members especially in today's mobile workforce.

Scalability. The cloud offers SMBs greater flexibility to scale their IT needs up or down as their business requires.

Easy and fast deployment. Cloud-based services can be deployed within just an hour, even a few days. Rather than the weeks or months, it takes us to strategically plan and then buy, build and implement an internal IT infrastructure.

Environmental friendliness. The cloud's energy efficiency is attractive to any company conscientious about the environment and wanting to be a green company.

Improved security. Although many SMBs site security concerns as one of the top reasons to be reluctant to move the cloud, there are actually a few data breaches involving cloud unlike a laptop being left behind in lobby or hotel or restaurant.

Business continuity. Data backup, storage, replication are just some of the frequently used cloud-based services among SMBs. Many cloud service providers offer SMBs and unlimited storage capability, automated data synchronization, back up processes that can reduce or eliminate downtime altogether, and recovering data is quickly and effective in case of a disaster strike.

By taking the time to explain the ins and the outs of cloud computing, you will gain the confidence of your client. You'll then become the "go-to company" for all of their technology needs.

Thanks for tuning in again today. Hope to see you next time.

In Need of Coaching?

Look out for our next episode of Continuum Coach's Corner! In the meantime, do you have any questions for Coach Ray? Leave us a comment below. We'd be happy to work it into an upcoming program!

 


Cutting-Through-the-Fog [eBook]
 
 
 

Ray Vrabel is Continuum's Director of Technical Account Management and participates in product and service growth initiatives, and also manages Continuum's Technical Account Management team, which supports over 3,500 partners worldwide. Prior to Continuum, Ray joined Zenith Infotech in 2005 and held several positions including Service Desk Manager, Sr. Technical Account Manager and Sr. Manager of Service Operations. He currently has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, specializing in Managed Services, Disaster Recovery, and Cloud Solutions. Prior to Continuum and Zenith, Ray worked at ANH Refractories, a world-class provider of Refractories products, in their Service Desk Department supporting 53 locations and 1,500 employees. Ray also worked for a startup venture at Body Media a pioneer in wearable body monitoring systems as a technical lead in their Technical Customer Support Department. Ray holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Technology Support and Training from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Topics: Cloud Computing

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