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 the proposed cloud project require an increase of bandwidth and/or greater redundancy in connectivity and can cost savings be realized? • inventory — What voice and data connectivity is in place? • Capacity — how much bandwidth is available? how scalable is it? • Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery — is there redundancy, load balancing/distribution or failover? APPliCAtioNS • inventory — What are the line-ofbusiness applications? Are they off-the-shelf? Were they developed in-house? Were they developed or customized by a VAR? • Architecture — how are the line-ofbusiness applications architected? Are they optimized? • Virtualization — What is the current application virtualization strategy, if any? • Software-as-a-Service — Do the client's independent software vendors (iSVs) have a SaaS delivery option? if so, explore its features, benefits, prices and shortcomings. • Line-of-Business Apps — What are the "show-stopper" business requirements that the client has with respect to LOB applications? StorAGe + CollAborAtioN • Architecture — how are storage hardware, software and file repository architected? how are file services provided? • Capacity — What are the storage growth trajectory and projections? • Collaboration — What are the access and collaboration policies and requirements, including collaboration with outside third parties? • Virtualization — Can storage be virtualized? is it technically feasible and cost-effective to consider moving primary storage to the cloud? emAil + meSSAGiNG • Platform — What email platform is used? What are the pain points? • integration — how is it integrated with other software or processes? Are there related messaging products in use, such as iM and presence products, voice mail and unified messaging? • Regulation and Compliance — is there a need for eDiscoverycompliant archiving? 44 ChaNNel paRTNeRs SEPt/OCt 2013 bACKuPS + diSASter reCovery this is an area that usually requires significant improvement, which may be more economically feasible in the cloud. • inventory — What backup technologies are in place? What are the related policies and procedures? What is the client's history of data loss, restore, etc.? • Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery — Are there solutions currently in place? What are the capabilities? Strengths and weaknesses? Who manages the solutions? have they ever been tested and/or used under real-life conditions? Are there written Standard Operating Procedures, a written DR plan or emergency management procedures? • Metrics — What is the client's Recovery time Objective (RtO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for each critical resource? What is the cost of downtime or businessimpacting events? GOAL: identify whiCh CloUd solUtions Are sAleABle now vs. lAter And develop A sAles strAtegy • Delivery — Who handles end-user support and how? is there an internal help desk or an outside vendor? What are the capabilities? • User Characteristics — how tech-savvy are users? What is their historical use of the help desk? What were the service loads? veNdorS + GoverNANCe • inventory — Who are the vendors? What are the contract lengths, terms and conditions? Are the deals good/ fair? Are the vendors high quality? is there room for improvement? • Governance — Are there silos or other governance and business process issues leading to dysfunction or inefficiencies? if yes, how will these the preceding outline is a simplified template for a needs assessment. Depending on the size and scope of the opportunity, an abridged or narrowed version of this template may be employed. At the other end of the spectrum, a needs assessment for an enterprise iaaS sale may result in a 100-page three-ring binder. Pick the right tool for the job. Component-based templates and associated best practices are modular in nature and can be customized and adapted to fit each individual case. Your goal should be to make sure you're not providing "too much assessment" or "too little assessment" but "just the right amount of assessment" for each opportunity. 2 eNd-uSer SuPPort • Compatibility — Can services currently provided by third-party vendors continue and be integrated into the cloud? if not, will any prevent the move to the cloud? be handled in the context of the proposed cloud project? u nderstanding the technical requirements and delivering the outlines of an integrated cloud solution is only one part of a competent cloud assessment. You can conduct the most thorough analysis and develop the best possible cloud solutions, but stars need to align in order to close the sale. You might say that the only sales that can be made today are at the intersection of the Venn diagram between the ideal cloud solutions revealed by your analysis (what should be done) and the client's current understanding and business reality (what can be done today). What ShouLD BE DoNE clOud salEs OppORtuNIty What CaN BE DoNE toDaY

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