This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.
In the days of Integrated T1’s, how did you pick a CLEC to sell? Was it due to the company delivered service in your region? Was it due to a relationship with a channel manager? Did one CLEC have better network or branding? Did a CLEC have a special sauce, some benefit that others did not? Did a CLEC just cost less and pay better? Did a CLEC have better support or was just easier to do business with?
These are things to reflect on, because you get to do it again. The world of cloud is just like the heady early days of the CLEC.
Choosing a cloud service provider to be your partner is a tough decision. That choice will be similar to when you chose a CLEC. However, now you have to consider a few more factors. These include redundancy, security, support and financial stability. Of course, for agents, recurring commissions are also a consideration.
One thing to keep in mind is that customers are moving to the cloud because the cloud represents high availability for their data from any attached device. So it is a business continuity sale, in a way. That means that the cloud provider you choose has to believe in business continuity to the point of mentioning uptime, redundancy and disaster recovery plans. Not asking about it could leave you with egg on your face.
It was easier to pick a CLEC since there wasn’t that much difference. CLECs were mainly reselling ILEC services. Now that everyone is moving to cloud and managed services, it comes down to technical acumen. How do you determine that?
It is a challenge to determine if the provider is funded enough for dual data centers, redundant gear, current security measures, qualified tech talent, a support staff and that the data is backed up regularly and off-site. As the trusted advisor, it is your duty to check out your vendor for your customers.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi