Whilst uptime and performance are important considerations when choosing a cloud hosting provider, it’s something else entirely to find a cloud partner that can really help you drive your business forward. This is especially true for those startups and SMEs that don’t have the time, resources or in-house experts to manage a complex cloud environment effectively, or that may need a little help from their provider to do so.
As such, there’s a lot to be said for working with a cloud provider that offers an exceptional level of support, and that takes the time both to get to know your business’ needs today and where you want to be in the future. Read on, and we’ll show you what great support in the cloud really means.
Availability and quality of support
When choosing a cloud provider, you’ll want to find out a) who will be available to help you if something goes wrong with your cloud environment, and b) how long you have to wait for help. It can be nerve-wracking to think you may have to explain the ins and outs of your business to an unfamiliar support person in a time of crisis, or that you may have to wait for hours for assistance because disaster struck after-hours.
This is where the smaller cloud providers often have the advantage. Since they often work on a more one-to-one basis with their customers, it’s more likely that you’ll have conversations with the same key consultants every time you get in touch. In this way, they’ll have a deeper understanding of you, your specific cloud setup (indeed, they may have helped you to build it!) and your business objectives. You end up with the personal, tailored and quality advice that might not be quite so accessible with the larger providers.
Even if you’re well-versed in the world of cloud, it’s more than likely there’ll come a time when you need help with some aspect of your environment. It’s a good idea to check whether support will incur extra charges on top of your fee, and how this will be priced – will you be billed per ticket, for example?
Many cloud providers – including some of the big-name ones – charge a significant premium for support on top of their core service costs, whereas others include support in the original pricetag. You'd therefore be remiss not to ask how and when you'll be billed, and work out what the implications are for TCO and ROI.
The on-boarding process
When moving to the cloud, you’ll want to be up and running as fast as possible and with the least amount of trouble. As such, it’s worth finding out what help will be available to you during set up.
Many IaaS solutions are very much self-service – you normally have access to an online portal where you can deploy and manage cloud servers with a click of the mouse. This is perfect for power users, but if you’re not 100% comfortable or familiar with this degree of control, you should look for a provider that offers extra assistance and TLC during the on-boarding process.
At TeleData, for example, we try to ensure that every customer gets a level of support to suit their business’ needs and deliver a smooth transition to the cloud. If a customer is a first-time cloud user and needs additional support to get up and running, we’ll help them get to grips with our tools and understand how our cloud can underpin their business objectives. This translates into happier and more successful customers in the long run.