Staying relevant in today’s competitive cloud landscape requires a new level of flexibility, ingenuity, and integration to other cloud products and services. Top of mind for many service providers are security enhancements and add-ons, such as secure messaging and productivity tools, which are becoming a necessity for every business. Key to the adoption of these tools is choosing products that add the most business value, are easy to use, and increase productivity and collaboration.
When it comes to ISVs looking to enhance and position their solutions – and for service providers who want to identify the best add-ons for their anchor products – the following four elements should be top of mind: automation, enablement, integration, and bundling.
Mark Twain once said the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. We think the same can apply to a company’s name – it’s important to have a name that fits our business and the value we bring to our partners.
While the name Parallels suited our team when our primary products featured desktop and server virtualization software, we have since grown to provide a wider range of products to different target audiences. To support a deeper focus into both our consumer and service provider areas, Parallels is becoming two distinct brands: our service provider team is now Odin, while our cross-platform solutions team will continue to use the name Parallels.
Docker has created a big wave over the past year. For those not familiar with Docker, it is an application packaging and orchestration technology which uses containers to transport a set of applications along with exactly specified dependencies and run them anywhere within a lightweight Linux container environment. The reason this is so different from simply transporting virtual machine images is that in Docker, the exact package base and all the changes are specified using the small template file and can be applied precisely and incrementally by a container technology called a mount name space along with overlays. This contrasts with a huge virtual machine image which is difficult to transport, and it’s very difficult to describe what has changed as it progresses through its lifecycle. This cascading lightweight container build approach, coupled with a freely available library of useful templates dramatically shortens the time it takes for enterprises to build, test and deploy applications. Effectively, Docker allows development on top of a platform (PaaS) without requiring that platform to be physically present inside the description file.
Over 50% of all small businesses don’t have a website online, according to Google. If you see this as an opportunity to sell more generic shared web hosting, you are wrong.
The global online presence market is forecasted to reach $21B USD by 2016. But guess what? SMBs aren’t buying traditional web hosting and building web sites from scratch anymore. Those days are long gone.
For many SMBs, installing and configuring WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal on traditional low-cost shared web hosting accounts is simply too technical or too complex to navigate. When opting to outsource, they are finding that hiring a professional designer is often too expensive.
Rule #3: The Sale is Just the Beginning
Whenever you make a sale, you are beginning a relationship with your customer. The key word here is “beginning.”
Like all new beginnings, it’s important to foster and grow your relationship with your customer. Remember that your ultimate goal is much more than closing that initial sale –your mission is to maximize the customer’s experience throughout their lifetime as a client, offer additional services and support as their business evolves, and keep them happy and loyal for as long as you can.
Your rewards for after-sales attention will include increased ARPU, more positive references, and improved word-of-mouth sales.