Thinking of… Offering a Cloud Solution? Ask the Smart Questions

A story

Looking at the resignation letter on my desk, I don’t understand how we got it so wrong. He was our top salesman and was the most vocal about offering a Cloud solution alongside our existing product. And now he’s joining our biggest competitor, who haven’t even considered the Cloud.    Why?

Execution was clearly the issue. The strategy was correct but our implementation was a disaster as new issues kept surprising us. We underestimated how this new offering would confuse customers. We thought they understood Cloud Computing. But it simply stalled sales. They assumed they needed less consulting support and projects started to fail.  The help desk was swamped and customer satisfaction scores went through the floor.

But the worst was the sales cannibalization and changing salesmen’s compensation to be tied into our annuity model. And that, it seems, was the last straw for our salesmen. If they can’t make money, they will go somewhere where they can.

12 months ago, before we launched our Cloud Computing strategy we were on the top of our game. Now we are fighting for survival.

There are so many questions, with hindsight, we wish we’d asked.

Cloud Computing is in vogue

Cloud Computing is the in-vogue name for the model of providing software from a remote location, over a network, where the organization using the software does not have to be involved with the day to day running of it.

It clearly has great benefits, but also comes with risks. But not all the risks are that obvious hence the need for this book. But first we need to agree some definitions.

Originally the generally accepted term was Software as a Service. The use of the word service was based on the association with other “services” that we just use without being concerned about the complexities behind the scenes e.g. the telephone, the supply of electricity, the use of our Visa card.

As more people have started writing about and promoting the approach there has been an explosion in acronyms making it difficult to differentiate between SaaS, PaaS, S+S, DaaS, ASP, On-Demand or Utility.  So this book uses “Cloud Computing” which seems to be the umbrella term that is gaining traction and is being used almost universally. The new term is based on the services being provided by servers which are in the Cloud.

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