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Types of Cloud Service Reseller Models

Types of Cloud Service Reseller Models

 

Cloud service resellers have, for long, been relied upon by software vendors for marketing and selling traditional software licenses. Even many businesses have started relying upon resellers rather than buying cloud services and products directly from the market as resellers bring certain benefits to them. However, the contract models and legal issues often make clients confused, which acts as a determent for choosing cloud services.

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If you too have been trying to know more about cloud service reseller models, here are the key ones:

  • Subcontracting model: In this case, the cloud service provider signs a contract for services with the reseller. The reseller, in turn, signs a separate contract with the customer for delivering services. In some cases, the reseller and the vendor may sign a single contract in relation to multiple customers. In other cases, for each reseller-customer contract, there would be an equivalent vendor-reseller contract, where the reseller agreement will act as a framework. This model is fit where the reseller’s objective is to bundle its own services with that of the resold services under a single customer contract.
  • Assignment model: In this model, the reseller purchases quantities of contracts from the vendor, and subsequently sells them to its customers. In other words, the reseller, under the contract, assigns its rights and obligations to its customers. This is why it is called the “Assignment Model”. Customers who don’t want to deal with the legal burden of principal-agent relationship may choose this model.
  • Agency model: According to the law of agency, agents can enter into contracts on behalf of their principals. Therefore, this model enables a reseller, appointed as an agent, to enter into cloud services agreements on behalf of its vendor. To offer the principal some protection, the contract can restrict the rights of cloud resellers to sign such deals on behalf of the vendor. Under this model, customers sign the contracts with the vendor. In case the reseller is also providing services or software to the customer, a separate contract should be signed to deal with those matters.
  • Referral model: This is perhaps the simplest and most popular method. Here, the reseller refers customers to the vendor. These referrals are then tracked by the vendor. For every contract that a referred customer signs with the vendor, some benefits are granted by the vendor to the reseller, which is typically in the form of commission.

Since each of these models affects the relationships between resellers, vendors and customers, you should do your homework well before choosing any one of these.

Why Opt for Cloud Resellers?

Why Opt for Cloud Resellers?

 

As the cloud has emerged from its hype phase where customers are increasingly becoming aware of the true potential as well as the actual benefits of the cloud technology, cloud resellers can now look forward to a gamut of opportunities to serve this growing clientele. If you too are planning to opt for cloud services and products and wonder why you should choose a cloud reseller, here are some benefits that a reseller can bring your way:

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  • Migration expertise: Most resellers are experienced with migrations from Microsoft Exchange, while a handful specializes in Novell Groupwise and IBM Lotus Notes. Working with a cloud reseller with experience in migrating data can help you move your data from your specific legacy mail client without much of a hassle.
  • User training: When you are planning a full scale migration from your legacy client, your staff as well as your IT department should have the knowledge and skills to make the most of the new platform. When you opt for cloud resellers, they will provide training and change management services, which will be customized to meet the needs and skill level of your user base. Apart from taking the pressure off your IT of conducting a full scale migration, such training will also ensure that your employees can use the platform the right way. What’s more, you can even save considerably on training your staff as you would otherwise have to, if the cloud reseller wasn’t handling this aspect.
  • Custom application development and application integration: Resellers can also help you with custom application development and application integration. There are many cloud resellers who are experienced in building cloud based custom applications, though only a handful specializes in the practice. However, since moving your custom apps to the cloud leaves your IT department with zero maintenance, you are in a strong position to negotiate a better migration price from a reseller. Apart from helping in the migration of your on-premise applications into the cloud, a reseller can also offer advice with respect to third-party cloud based solutions for handling operations such as employee time tracking, CRM, marketing automation, and much more. Since cloud resellers have already vetted third-party products, they can make suitable recommendations that can benefit your business. At times, you may even get a better price on a third-party product when you buy it through a reseller rather than directly from the marketplace.

Since you will come across many cloud resellers in the market, each proclaiming to be better than the rest, you should get recommendations from companies who have worked with the reseller earlier, not only for migration services, but for custom app development as well. This will ensure that you are getting the expertise and services as advertised.

Reselling Cloud Services the Easy Way

Reselling Cloud Services the Easy Way

 

Gartner predicts that public IT cloud services spending will grow at a phenomenal rate to touch $206.6bn in 2016. This, along with the benefits of cloud such as flexibility and cost-effectiveness, will make reselling cloud services a lucrative domain. However, a majority of cloud resellers are still skeptical about how to move forward and embrace the reseller channel, while letting go of their previous traditional business model.

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If you too want to make it big by reselling cloud services, here are some methods to do it the easy way:

  • Integrating cloud services with present offerings: As a cloud reseller, you don’t need to overhaul your business processes or operations to reinvent services. Rather, find ways to integrate cloud with your present offerings in a cost-effective method. Also, you should ensure to keep the focus on introducing cloud services where it can support the needs of your clients and help you activate an additional revenue stream. At the same time, you should also look after your traditional user base and not drive them away by just making a dash for the cloud market without understanding their business needs.
  • Acting as trusted advisors: Resellers have always act as a conduit between the end-user and the service provider, giving their clients guidance and advice, as well as offering them solutions that are best fit to meet their needs. You should continue to play this role while reselling cloud services. Remember – end-users are still trying to understand the impact of cloud and how it can meet their business needs. Therefore, they are likely to seek advice from a trusted partner and resellers can play a big role in such scenarios. As a reseller, it’s important that your team knows what cloud is, how end-users can benefit from it, its applications etc. Armed with such knowledge, you and your team can advise customers, thus helping them make the most of new cloud services and products.
  • Customer retention with value addition: Cloud resellers can resell value-added services under their own brand. Since service providers often have certain packages for their resellers to offer, which may not fit the needs of clients, the latter come to their resellers to get a mixed bag of offerings. By supplying such value-added services and products, cloud resellers can meet the needs of these customers and not let them walk out the door to buy direct cloud services. You too can ensure a varied cloud portfolio, while reselling cloud services, to provide your customers with more choices, which will help you retain a bigger revenue share and develop new recurring revenue streams.

So, use these tips for reselling cloud services the easy way.

Increasing Importance of Desktop Virtualization

Increasing Importance of Desktop Virtualization

 

With the increasing adoption of cloud computing and a prevalent mobile workforce, desktop virtualization has become a mainstream IT strategy for businesses of all sizes. By empowering businesses to meet the needs of their users more securely and effectively, in addition to encouraging innovation and better business procedures, desktop virtualization is experiencing many takers across several businesses and IT departments.

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Let us take a look at the key elements that drive the growing importance of desktop virtualization.

Workforce mobility

Desktop virtualization makes the workforce flexible. Thus, people can work on any device of their choice, from anywhere and at any time, depending on what makes their work most effective and productive. Businesses can benefit from such a mobile workforce as they can be rapidly deployed across several locations, starting from branch offices to client and partner sites. Desktop virtualization also helps the workforce quickly adapt to changing business requirements, which in turn influences the ROI positively.

Cost-effective

Thanks to rapidly evolving technologies, desktop virtualization has become much more affordable as compared to what it was earlier. Thus, companies can now design and enable their virtualized desktop environment with greater flexibility at considerable savings. What’s more, desktop virtualization encourages mobility and teleworking. This in turn has led to the emergence of smaller offices that cost less. Since many workers telecommute, considerable savings can be made as there’s no longer any need of large personal work spaces. Even shifting workers to alternate locations and allocating space more efficiently has become easier with desktop virtualization.

IT efficiency

With a centralized architecture, desktop virtualization lets IT support users efficiently across several locations by delivering desktops and apps as secure, on-demand services. With a centralized user management, achieving a more professional level of IT service also becomes easier for businesses, especially the SMBs.

Business agility

With more agile, faster IT processes, businesses can handle strategic initiatives speedily. They can also expedite branch expansion as well as merger and acquisition activity by providing access to virtualized resources to accelerate the processes. Since IT personnel no longer need to be deployed to new locations as everything can be handled with centralized management and online support, businesses can grow rapidly and create a larger impact on the market.

Security and compliance

Due to the centralized location of apps, data and desktops in the datacenter, IT can have an effective control on both access and information. Policy-based access control, reporting and auditing, activity logging etc help in meeting strict regulatory compliance standards. Even data breaches can be prevented by turning off access to IT services instantly in case a device is stolen/destroyed/lost, or a worker leaves the company.

With these and many more benefits, desktop virtualization has emerged as a strategic necessity for contemporary businesses.

Why SMBs Prefer Cloud Resellers?

Why SMBs Prefer Cloud Resellers?

 

Many people think that when it comes to the cloud, SMBs focus just on data back-up and email hosting. But the truth is different. Over the past few years, SMBs have become increasingly familiar with the cloud and quite a few are already leveraging the power of cloud services.

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Though the most common areas for cloud adoption in SMBs include data back-up and recovery, as well as email and CRM, a sizable number of businesses are also using application hosting and data storage. For SMBs that want to get started with cloud services, the most popular applications and services are virtual servers, hosted virtual desktops, storage, and hosted exchange. Cloud resellers who offer such services on a monthly basis are preferred by many of these SMBs due to several advantages they bring to the table. Let us take a closer look at the growing popularity of cloud resellers for SMBs.

The Cost Factor

For most SMBs, cost is a decisive factor. With exclusive incentives and rebates that cloud service providers offer their resellers, the latter can offer cost-effective, value-added packages to its clients, which SMBs find ideal to meet their needs. Since these services are usually on a pay-as-you-go basis and can be upgraded or downgraded quickly, these businesses don’t have to worry about a sudden spurt in business or a lean season.

Tailor-made Services/Products

Business specific cloud solutions are important for SMBs and cloud resellers can offer such solutions tailor-made to fit their clients’ needs. Since such cloud solutions are easy for customers to invest into and justify, the market is experiencing a high level of adoption of such solutions.

A Flexible, Agile Way of Work

SMBs often face the same challenges as larger companies, but have fewer resources to deal with them. Be it upgrading the mail servers, mobilizing the workforce, analyzing massive amounts of data, or configuring equipment and applications to start work, the problems can be many and varied. In most cases, SMBs either don’t have the right staff or the capital budget to handle such situations. It is here that cloud resellers, with their bouquet of services and products, step in to help fulfill genuine needs at a fast pace.

Easy to Approach

Most cloud resellers act as the first level of customer support, which makes them easily approachable for clients. Whether the SMBs are opting for CRM type applications, infrastructure related services such as storage, email hosting or data back-up and recovery, they are often wary about security and data privacy. But with 24X7 support and easy resolution of problems by cloud resellers, combined with consultancy and support services, SMBs are increasingly putting their trust in service offered by them.

As cloud resellers continue offering new technologies and customized services, which are essential for the success and growth of their clients’ businesses, they will find many more takers in the domain of SMBs.

Cloud Reseller Program: FAQs

Cloud Reseller Program: FAQs

 

As more and more cloud service providers are considering expanding their services through the reseller model, there is an increasing interest in becoming a cloud service reseller. However, prospective resellers still aren’t clear about certain aspects. So, here are some FAQs to answer common queries related to the cloud reseller programs.

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  • How much does a service provider pay the partners?

It varies from one service provider to another. While most offer a certain percentage of commissions, some others may offer exclusive incentives, rebates or profit sharing methods. Many service providers also emphasize on the fact that as a partner, the resellers will benefit from predictable, high-margin, recurring revenue and turnkey entry into the growing cloud market with industry leading solutions. Some also offer their cloud resellers access to a number of sales, marketing and enablement tools, which are created with the objective of increasing revenues and securing new business opportunities.

  • What is the basic eligibility for such programs?

This can again vary between service providers. However, some common criteria, usually constant among most leading players, include completing the deal registration; providing first-level support to your customers before leveraging dedicated support from the service provider; having at least one or two non-technical staff trained by the service provider; and offering billing and accounting support to your customers. Some may even ask you to have a minimum customer threshold as an entry requirement into their cloud reseller programs.

  • Can I build my own branded cloud?

Most cloud service providers let you sell their core services under your brand name. You may also be allowed to customize some of these offerings, which can then be sold under your own brand. However, customizing means value-addition and not merely changing the logo or description of an already existing product.

  • What benefits can I get from such programs?

When you get registered as a cloud reseller, you can look forward to a bouquet of benefits such as a competitive margin on new contracts, renewals and upgrades; free trials; incentive programs; internal use discount; a partner portal; a partner enablement toolkit; sales and marketing support, along with on-demand and instructor led training; access to online knowledgebase as well as sales tools and industry information including intelligence reports, newsletters, and partner virus alerts, among others.

Most reseller programs let the partners own the sale and client relationships including billing, while the service providers handle the technical support aspect. With high customer satisfaction and retention rates, these cloud reselling programs are fast becoming a preferred mode for those who want to set foot in the cloud business domain but don’t have the technical knowledge and/or the ability to invest and build everything from scratch.

Mobile Solutions Offered by Cloud Resellers

Mobile Solutions Offered by Cloud Resellers

 

As businesses all over the world are increasingly employing staff who work on the go or are encouraged to bring their own devices to work (thanks to the BYOD policy), there is a growing need of focusing on managed enterprise mobility services. Clients from different parts of the world are looking to realize their mobile potential. What’s more, they are asking their cloud resellers to provide them with mobile solutions that let them work from anywhere, at anytime, with complete peace of mind. So, it’s quite obvious that cloud resellers are delivering innovative new offerings that meet the mobility needs of clients, which in turn helps them retain and win new customers.

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Cloud Desktops

As compared to local desktops, cloud desktops offered by cloud resellers are beneficial for business users who need safe and speedy computer access from any device, anywhere. Apart from great performance, such desktops also offer considerable cost savings.  In case of businesses where costs and security are critical aspects with respect to their operations, such cloud desktops can act as the ideal solution.

Synchronizing data and services across devices and platforms

Several cloud resellers these days offer services to synchronize their clients’ contacts, emails and calendar data between various mailboxes in the cloud and local data stored on their computer disks. Some resellers even provide them with a free and open source email client application, which permits the clients to access all their email accounts from one place – both in the online and offline mode.

Managed Enterprise Mobility Services

These services help modern enterprises manage how their employees access company information and applications from various mobile devices such as Androids, iPhones, iPads and Windows Phone in a secure, efficient and cost-effective manner. With such services from cloud resellers that encourage innovative working practices with the use of smartphones and tablets, companies can benefit considerably from the resultant productivity gains.

Customer-centric services

Cloud resellers offer an increasing level of flexibility to clients. Therefore, unlike earlier days when a one-size-fits-all solution was often the only thing available to them, clients now-a-days can get customized solutions to fit their unique business needs.

With these and many other dynamic cloud computing and virtualization solutions, cloud resellers have empowered employees of modern businesses  to work from anywhere, at anytime, and using any device across personal, public and private clouds. With their people-centric approach to computing that gives their clients the freedom and flexibility to work productively and securely, these resellers give IT the power to manage applications, operations and data more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner unlike traditional computing solutions.

Cloud Reseller Channel Challenges in 2014

Cloud Reseller Channel Challenges in 2014

 

With the changing market scenario, more and more cloud resellers are fighting a battle of holding their ground and continuing to get clients for the services they offer. IT experts predict that channel partners need to choose either of these – improve their offerings and focus on the provision of higher-value services, which would let them earn reasonable margins, or concentrate entirely on a commodity offer where they would need to chase volume to survive.

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Channel partners who decide to function somewhere in between these two choices would find 2014 increasingly difficult, mainly because it will become tougher for businesses with poor performing services to stay afloat and continue to make good margin on product and infrastructure.

As more and more organizations are increasingly demanding customized solutions, while being reluctant to accept a wholesale suite approach, especially where such solutions affect their ability to deploy the most appropriate hosted model or procure services on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis, cloud resellers need to offer innovative, tailor-made solutions that span the entire, end-to-end consumer journey. This is a key challenge to overcome and those who can deliver flexible, cloud-enabled services would emerge as the leading market players.

Another challenge that the present year will bring for cloud resellers is with respect to the contact centre. As more and more users are opting for non-voice channels such as email, social media platforms, and chat to get in touch with organizations, or to collaborate on a project, traditional voice is no longer being used as much as it was before, as the channel of escalation for consumers. This places a renewed focus on getting things right in the contact centre.

Creating a much stronger alignment between customer service teams and e-commerce is yet another challenge. Smart cloud reseller channel players, who can ease into this transition, and ensure that e-commerce and customer service – all become part of the same unified customer journey process, will do well in 2014.

Despite the debate going strong over what type of cloud solutions should be offered – shared, dedicated, or hosted; private, public or hybrid, experts predict that 2014 would allow pure-play cloud vendors to prosper.

As the cloud market evolves and the client needs change, the cloud reseller community will be poised to adapt to these changing trends and deliver value-added products to hold onto their existing client base and expand in order to claim a bigger share of the market.

Changing Market Landscape for Cloud Resellers

Changing Market Landscape for Cloud Resellers

 

As cloud solutions are becoming more flexible and competitive to meet the changing demands of businesses, the traditional reseller approach is facing quite a few challenges. This has made it important for the cloud resellers to navigate through a changing market landscape as cloud budgets are increasing at an encouraging rate, thus driving customers’ high hopes.

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Some recent research results indicate that cloud resellers will have to deal with an increasing mobility demand from their customers. As businesses are increasingly employing a mobile workforce, that either works on the go or telecommutes, resellers are bracing for a year that would be dominated by mobility demands. According to many resellers, some additional technological developments may surface over the course of 2014 to aid this increasing demand of mobility.

All over the world, cloud resellers are growing at a fast pace, thanks to no legacy renewals, low cost overheads, and no worry about being pushed into oblivion by existing businesses. Though a lot of their potential clients are still in the planning stages with respect to deploying cloud computing, most resellers believe that they would be making the transition to the technology over the course of this year.

As the market scenario changes, many cloud resellers are planning to sell more managed services in the months ahead to meet their changing customer demands. A majority of cloud resellers also indicate that they are expecting customer budgets to experience a boost. As the market expands, more and more resellers will compete to capture new business opportunities by leveraging the power of cloud technology.

There would be an increased focus on offering exceptional support to the clients to accelerate their businesses and build strong relationships at every level. The market is also set to experience a spur in demand for services and support tailored to meet clients’ needs.

From flexible, personalized financing solutions to global logistics, as well as top-notch technical and engineering assistance, the cloud resellers will get all the support they need, from their service provider companies, thus ensuring that they are capable of responding with speed and agility to changing market conditions. This in turn would help the resellers to achieve the fastest time to revenue.

IT and cloud experts predict that many new revenue opportunities would come up during the coming months. Therefore, cloud resellers should have strategies in place to ensure that they make the best utilization of such opportunities and deliver a more powerful cloud value proposition to their customers.

Know About Reseller Web Hosting Services

Know About Reseller Web Hosting Services

 

Reseller web hosting solution gives the average user an opportunity to earn profit on the World Wide Web by reselling the web hosting server disk drive space that some hosting service provider offers. Usually, the hosting providers offer private label reseller hosting solutions, which the resellers can sell under their own personal brands.

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How does it work?

The way reseller web hosting functions is based on the web hosting firm’s strategy, which offers the hosting services. cPanel/WHM is the most common type of reseller account. With it, you can use the Web Host Manager Control Panel to allocate the space, which your reseller account provides, among your customers. With this account, you can also create a wide variety of hosting plans and cPanel web hosting accounts for your customers. In this system, you – as the reseller, will have to deal with the invoicing and customer support provision. However, these too are determined, to a large extent by your web hosting provider’s strategy.

The free reseller program is another type of reseller web hosting plan, where you can describe your own retail prices for the web hosting packages on offer. For every sale that you generate, your web hosting provider will give you a commission, which would be the difference between the wholesale and the retail prices. Such reseller hosting programs provide client support to the end customers, which may be very convenient for you – the reseller, especially if you do not wish to get completely overwhelmed by the reseller web hosting business. In terms of fees, though there may be different variants, most providers would need you to pay a monthly fee for a particular hosting server disk drive space, which you can separate and assign to your multiple clients.

Types of services

For hosting firms that offer a cPanel/WHM reseller hosting plan, a reseller can sell only shared hosting accounts. However, resellers in such circumstances don’t get root access to the web server configuration files, which point to the fact that the sole hosting services that they may offer are shared accounts.

Resellers with bigger allowances may be able to provide different solutions like dedicated web servers or virtual hosting server accounts on behalf of their private brand name. However, the resellers will have to take care of the customer support provision, as no web hosting supplier would like to offer client support to the end users of such a web hosting solution.

Some other free reseller plans are also available in the market, where the resellers can sell semi-dedicated hosting packages, virtual hosting server accounts and dedicated hosting server packages, in addition to shared web hosting accounts, without the need of buying any of the web hosting solutions upfront.

Depending on the policy of a hosting provider, there might be other supplementary web hosting services such as SSL certificates, domain registrations, domain Whois identity protection solutions etc, which can be offered by the web hosting reseller.