Despite all the cloud adoption growth statistics being touted from just about every analyst group, the reality is that many VARs and MSPs are still struggling to make money selling cloud solutions and services. In fact, many resellers treat the cloud as a loss leader and focus their efforts on capturing the shrinking opportunity of on-premises computer and server monitoring sales and services. I recently spoke with John Mamon, executive VP at CDI Managed Services, an MSP that’s projecting 50% revenue growth over the next 18 months and attributing cloud services as a key contributor.
Mamon was a straight shooter who candidly shared a few secrets to his company’s success. “We never saw much value in being a cloud broker,” he says. “Anyone can be a conduit to a public cloud provider’s data center. There’s so much about that experience that’s outside the customers’ — and the MSP’s — control that it’s hard to add much value to it. We provide private cloud services from two top-tier facilities that operate on opposite coasts, and we have full visibility and control over the services we provide to our customers.”
Not only does CDI Managed Services use a variety of managed services tools (e.g. LabTech RMM and ConnectWise PSA) to remotely monitor and manage its customers’ cloud environments, it’s learned how to explain its cloud offerings in simple language. “Even though customers have heard a lot about the cloud, there’s still a lot of confusion about what it really is,” says Mamon. “When you really get into the conversation, you usually find that they see cloud as something mystical and hard to trust.” CDI Managed Services cuts through this confusion and mystery by explaining that by using its own cloud data center, it’s able to provide full management of its customers’ data, applications, and servers, and its customers can trust the MSP with their data. And, therein lies the secret to this MSP’s success: helping customers understand the advantages of a managed private cloud offering over a cheap consumer-grade public cloud offering.