Channel Partners

SEP-OCT 2013

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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FEATURE G athering the technical and business data to assess the entire it environment should begin with an extended non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with limited liability oBjeCtively and terms and condievAlUAte tions statements in order the Client's it to protect your company environment and to show your & identify Correprospective buyers that sponding you respect their confiCloUd dentiality and intellectual solUtions property. Use bestpractice standards for the must-include components and must-have legal language for these documents. it environments riddled with problems are common, and it is important to establish rules of the engagement prior to helping the client. the information gathering process can be broken down into multiple components outlined below. keep in mind that we have provided a simplified summary of each category along with sample questions that you may want to ask. in practice, the depth of the technical inquiries in each category are extensive enough to warrant a series of white papers. 1 GOAL: GeNerAl + StrAteGiC iNformAtioN • Demographics — how many locations? What are the addresses? how many employees? What are the lines of business and SiC codes? Who are its customers? Who are its competitors? What is the corporate structure? how is it funded? What is its financial position? • Growth Plans — What are your client's strategic plans? What are its three- to five-year goals? What are its top three goals and top three pain points? HArdwAre/SoftwAre iNveNtory • inventory — What standard and nonstandard hardware and software is in use? What is their pedigree? Who are their vendors? What is the support information and status? • Age — Are servers or other commodity hardware ready to be refreshed (more than three years 42 ChaNNel paRTNeRs SEPt/OCt 2013 old)? Are there capacity issues or other pain points? • Software Licensing — What license types are held? What compliance requirements are there? Are there obvious inefficiencies, noncompliance or pain points? • Virtualization Compatibility and Legacy Systems — What needs to stay? What can go to the cloud? • total Cost of Ownership — What is the fully-loaded burden of hardware and software ownership? this is often a significant part of the financial justification for cloud. eNd-uSer SyStemS Evaluating end-user systems is key — if they are ready for desktops-as-aservice, this can be an entry point into cloud that may lead to an infrastructureas-a-service sale. • inventory — What and how many desktops does it have? What about laptops, tablets and other mobile devices? is there other specialized hardware? • User types/Roles — Are there telecommuters? Remote users? Mobile-only users? • Standards — Are the systems uniform or mixed (e.g., acquired over time)? Are there technologies deployed, such as imaging or snapshotting that embody end-user policies? how well do they work? • Age — Are end-user systems ready to be refreshed (e.g., more than three years old)? Are there known pain points? PHySiCAl PlANt Power, hVAC, cable plant, buildings, locations, fire/flood protection, climate event protection: What are the strengths and weaknesses? Are there any pain points, such as power outages, cooling issues, physical space or zoning problems? NetworK the enterprise network is the foundation. Undocumented problem areas and easily remedied yet business-impacting inefficiencies are very common. there may be network projects that can be discovered and sold in this process. • inventory — Where is the cable plant? how many and where are the firewalls, VPNs, switches and routers? What wireless networks and protocols are used? What are the switching speeds? Obtain diagrams if available. Who are the vendors? What is the support information and status? • Architecture — Are they using Windows or an equivalent? Are there multiple locations? Are there multiple domains? is there redundancy? is Active Directory or equivalent management in use? Are best practices being followed? SeCurity Security is key. You want to determine if your client's security profile will be positively impacted by a move to the cloud. You also need to ascertain any security pain points or specific security concerns your client has about moving to the cloud. • internet, Network, host and Data Security — is content filtering, anti-spam and malware protection in place? how about intrusion detection and prevention systems? • Enterprise — Are authentication, authorization, privacy and nonrepudiation technologies and policies in place? is there room for improvement in this area? • Non-technical Risks — Are there behavioral, cultural or logistical issues or requirements that can pose security problems? • Regulations and compliance — is the client in a regulated industry? if yes, are they currently compliant? Are there special security requirements pertaining to the client's business and can those requirements be met in a non-cost-prohibitive manner? CoNNeCtivity + teleCom Providing a full telecom assessment is an opportunity to uncover projects due to dependencies between telecom and the proposed cloud solution. Would MORE INFO Learn more from Cloud Taskforce's David Sebestyen in the session, "Assessing Customer Needs & Developing Cloud Road Maps," at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, Sept. 11-13, 2013, in Chicago.

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