Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What Are Cloud Services?

Besides Google Apps, Gmail, Hotmail, Hosted Exchange, and Salesforce, cloud services is everywhere. Postini is a cloud service. Anything delivered from a data center today can have the cloud label.

Examining the Cbeyond acquisition of Aretta for a client today, I noticed that Cbeyond named Brooks Robinson, president of its new division: Cbeyond Cloud Services, which MaximumASP and Aretta become a part of.

""We provided a number of services we call cloud. We have a web hosting product, we also have hosted Microsoft Exchange," says Brooks Robinson, president of Cbeyond Cloud Services. "There's a number of other applications that would be termed cloud services as well. We have a virtual receptionist product, our fax to email product is in the cloud. But in terms of cloud servers specifically, this is a new product area for us." [TheWHIR]

Notice the list of cloud services? Are you mentioning these features or the fact that YOU deliver cloud services on your website, blog or marketing materials? (Probably not).

CBEY gets a 33,000 square foot data center in KY to offer VPS and more hosting. Plus Cloud PBX from Aretta (based on Asterisk).

The Cloud is about continually providing services to your customers to create value, stickiness and revenue. There's a lot of M&A activity right now because it's easier to buy technology, staff, and product than to build it. (Google said that today). And I know many of my readers want to build everything themselves, but you have to consider something: Your competition is not a telco or cableco or even a tech company. (Let that sync in a minute.) Your competition is a marketing and sales machine.

The new mentality is: Just get out there and sell shit. Bill it. We'll worry about delivery and support later.

That's what you are up against. So you need to learn to find partners and cross-promote each other. But at the end of the day, no one cares about the tech -- your customers don't want to know how it works, just that it will -- so you need to get better at sales and marketing. Faster.

When you are ready to go to Cloud, we'll walk you through it.

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