Choosing Your Cloud Partner
Choosing a new technology partner can be one of the biggest decisions of your business year – and it can have a lasting impact. The trick is finding a partner that truly understands you, your business, the challenges you face and the structure of your organization. Likewise, that partner needs to have deep expertise in your industry and must bring something new to the equation – particularly when you don’t have the time, people or expertise to handle everything in-house.
At Aptum, we recognize the value of partnership and we work diligently to support technology leaders — whether they are up against roadblocks, facing shifting priorities or when they just need to walk through new ideas for their digital transformation. We work hard to build trust, deliver the right solutions, and help enable their business growth.
When it comes to cloud, we adopt a consultative approach to guide high-pressure and high-growth businesses through each stage of their unique cloud journey. The goal is always to design, build, migrate, and manage a well-ideated custom solution that can meet your overarching business objectives.
No doubt, your cloud journey can be complex – but you are not on that journey alone. By partnering early in the cloud migration process, we make it our business to understand your cloud adoption drivers and technology pain points.
In the end, whether you choose Aptum or another provider, you must find the right partner that will ensure your business needs are met.
Comparing Providers: How to Narrow Down Your Choices
PARTNERSHIP: CRITICAL TO A SUCCESSFUL CLOUD STRATEGY
Your cloud partner is in it with you for the long haul. That’s why picking a cloud partner that can address all your current and future requirements is a critical part of your cloud journey. You must ensure that they truly understand your company’s business drivers, your desired outcomes and that they have the wherewithal to support your hybrid IT operations in a sustainable and costefficient manner over the longer term
There are important questions that you should ask of any cloud partner:
- How deep is their talent pool, and what is their process and methodology for evaluating our needs and supporting implementation?
- Do they have a multi-dimensional offering that can address all needs of a well-ideated cloud solution, including multi-location data connectivity?
- Are they trying to sell you on a particular approach, or are they genuinely interested in finding the right solution for you?
- Do they offer a holistic approach with a capability to advise on and architect solutions encompassing cloud, connectivity, and security elements?
- What is their track record?
- Who have they successfully supported, and how?
- Are they specialized in a limited set of platforms or options, or are they vendor agnostic?
- Are they able to handle complicated implementations and think steps ahead to pre-emptivelymitigate secondary challenges and risks?
- Will they work well with your internal team?
- What does their network capability and footprint look like?
- What is their culture and ethos?
THE APTUM DIFFERENCE
Aptum has been helping customers store, move, manage, and secure data since 1999. Ever since the Internet has been a true force in business, we’ve been at the table helping customers grow and adopt new platforms – from the explosion of web hosting in the early 2000s through the emergence of cloud, and now into the current expansion of cloud adoption and hyperscale platforms. We have the experience, are continually evolving, and will lead the way for our customers.
From the planning and business case approval stage to the migration and management phase, we support your internal IT teams to build and manage true hybrid solutions. We ensure that your investment choices align with defined business outcomes.
This is not about an off-the-shelf quick-win cloud strategy. Indeed, no real strategy could ever be off the shelf. This is about looking at your business goals from every possible angle to ensure that you have the right mix of solutions for today, and to be able to innovate, adapt and react with confidence as you move into the future.
At the end of the day, you need to have complete faith that your investment is going to pay off. By engaging Aptum early in the process, you can ensure that you are making the right choices as you move forward.
Aptum has a global reach with a local presence to provide our customers with exceptional human support and customer experience. Our goal is for you to feel we have your back — so you can focus on the other priorities that matter most for your business.
PARTNERSHIP BUILT FOR YOU.
Most of our customers choose to work with us because we are able to offer a fully-integrated, centralized support and implementation model. Providing a comprehensive set of services can help you optimize your technology investments and reduce costs and complexity of your operations.
The benefits associated with one main trusted partner usually outweigh the advantages of picking a multi-vendor solution. However, some organizations choose to adopt a multi-vendor strategy to implement cloud solutions, and we are able to work with your additional partners to get the right solution in place. While having to manage multiple vendors, processes, and systems can add operational and management complexity to your IT environment, that may still be what is right for your organization.
At Aptum, some customers also ask us to manage other partners and vendors on their behalf, and we are able to make that part of the solution. At the end of the day, it’s about what works best for your business.
This holistic approach puts us in a strong position to help customers with their digital transformation initiatives.
Cloud and hosting solutions rely on resilient, powerful, high-performance connectivity — making it a critical pillar of a cloud strategy. Poor network connectivity can prevent you from realizing the full benefit of a cloud solution. It can also lead to failure of mission-critical functions. Further, poorly planned network options can lead to significant unexpected extra costs.
Since Aptum offers a range of connectivity options such as network, cloud connect services, MPLS, and SD-WAN, this allows us to help you find the perfect mix for your cloud deployment based on the priority of your applications.
Indeed, the connectivity conversation goes well beyond cloud. It impacts mission-critical functions up and down your entire organization, including fully on-premise components. Knowing that companies often have an ecosystem of IT service providers, Aptum specializes in connecting these ecosystems together efficiently. This ensures that data can move frictionlessly between applications, geographies, and service providers – giving you an added layer of confidence.
Key Considerations in Picking a Cloud Service Partner: Deciding on the Right Cloud Solutions Partner
STRATEGIC: FIT FOR YOUR BUSINESS
To ensure that any partner is a good choice for your business, evaluate their track record, service footprint, regulatory alignment, and cultural fit.
TRACK RECORD: Your partner’s ability to stay current on their platforms and cloud infrastructure is key to ensuring the longterm efficiency of your operations. Your cloud partner should be able to demonstrate their expertise along with a technology roadmap that meets your current and future requirements.
CULTURE: Often, a provider who is big enough to deliver and small enough to care is a better choice to drive your migration to the cloud. For instance, a large hyperscale public cloud provider may work well for a company with a large and skilled IT team, while an organization with limited technical resources may prefer to bring in a partner like Aptum to help support their hyperscale cloud environment.
GEOGRAPHY: The location of your provider’s data centers can have a significant impact on the responsiveness of your applications. For latency-sensitive services such as Voice over IP and high-volume data replication applications, this could be critical.
Delivering content efficiently to your customers should be top of mind when picking a provider.
The partner’s service footprint should be within your desired geographical area to comply with any data sovereignty or regulatory requirements that you have.
FINANCIAL: THE BENEFITS CAN OUTWEIGH THE PRICE
While price is an important aspect of your cloud migration decision, the benefits a partner brings can often outweigh minor differences in the cost of the solution.
PRICING MODEL: The partner’s pricing structure should be clear, transparent and align with the assumptions in your business case. Significant price variations between vendors should be further vetted to ensure that inclusions, exclusions, and variable costs are well understood.
COMMERCIAL TERMS AND AGREEMENTS: Services with hidden or variable costs can negatively impact the viability of your cloud operation. Make sure that the terms and conditions are acceptable to your company.
By deploying a holistic solution through Aptum, you benefit from the economies of bundling services and minimize administrative challenges related to billing and other ongoing administrative functions a multi-vendor solution brings.
Customers should factor in the infrastructure, connectivity, and ongoing management costs to get a holistic view of the TCO of their cloud investment. It is in your best interest to look for a partner with a clear and transparent fee structure so that there are no surprises once service is up and running.
FUNCTIONAL: CAN THE PARTNER PROVIDE THE NEEDED FEATURES AND FUNCTIONALITY?
Your cloud service provider’s products and services should deliver the features and functionality that your business needs. A provider who offers a holistic portfolio of solutions will be in a better position to help you choose the right-fit solutions for your workloads and reduce the complexities associated with the cloud migration and ongoing operation.
HYPERSCALE CLOUD: If your applications require a distributed computing environment and massive scalability-on-demand, you should look for a partner who can collaborate with you to help you reap the full benefits of a hyperscale cloud. The vast array of services and choices offered by hyperscale cloud providers can be intimidating to even the more experienced IT Managers and administrators.
PLATFORMS AND PARTNERSHIPS: The cloud partner’s ecosystem of platforms and partnerships will help you explore solutions that go beyond the IT infrastructure. These may include partnering arrangements for hyperscale cloud, eCommerce, content delivery, SaaS applications, SD-WAN, and others.
STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS: Multiple standards and certifications apply to data centers and cloud services.
Certifications that cover data sovereignty, organizational controls, and payment card processing are typically of interest to customers who use cloud services.
OPERATIONAL: HOW ABOUT SERVICE AND SUPPORT?
A partner who works with you from the planning and assessment stage to the implementation phase will help bridge gaps that exist in your organization.
MIGRATION AND ONGOING OPERATIONS: Operational support from your provider will be crucial for your IT environment. The deployment and management process should be well understood and documented. Ensure that your partner offers standard interfaces for you to access and manage your workloads.
EASE OF OPERATION: Processes and policies are vital to the smooth operation of your business. Your service provider should offer clear documentation on the roles and responsibilities regarding upgrades, incident management, change management, and configuration support needed to run your hybrid IT environment.
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Make sure that your cloud partner can track and report on the performance of your IT environment against predefined SLAs.
Next Steps: What to Expect
IT COMES DOWN TO TRUST
When it comes to migrating workloads to the cloud, needs vary. A rigorous vetting process will ensure that your cloud partner becomes an extension of your digital transformation team and works with you at every step of your cloud journey to ensure its success. At the end of the day, it’s about trust. You can’t afford surprises or unexpected consequences or problems. Too much is riding on it.
Work with a partner who will go deep to understand your needs, and who has the experience and capabilities to protect your investments and ensure business outcomes.