Having worked with thousands of service providers over the past 14 years, interviewed tens of thousands of SMBs on their purchase habits and intentions, and enabled some of the world’s leading telecommunications companies to deliver cloud services, Parallels has a unique understanding of the cloud services industry.
Parallels has identified five critical factors that are common to the most successful cloud service providers. By leveraging these factors, these providers are able to completely automate service delivery from end to end in order to optimize operations, streamline billing, lower support costs, and increase average revenue per user (ARPU).
These factors should be thought of as a framework for achieving a successful cloud services business. When all of the factors are addressed, providers will be able to effectively onboard new services, curate their own catalogs of applications and services, resell catalog offerings through multiple channels, and deliver a differentiated, unified service experience to all customers through all channels.
A reliable, future-proof platform is the foundation for building a dynamic cloud service business. As a provider’s business grows, the platform must support their choice of business models and provide maximum flexibility for integration with existing services and systems, and for delivery of new ones. The effort and time involved to launch new services is also a key consideration. A platform that eliminates complexity and reduces time to market helps providers to focus more closely on product management and customer acquisition.
A marketplace-based model might meet a provider’s immediate demands, but lacks the flexibility and extensibility to meet their needs over the long term.
When evaluating a platform for cloud service creation and delivery, consider the following questions:
- Can you add new services across the primary cloud services categories – infrastructure services, web presence, unified communications services, and SaaS business applications?
- Can new services be integrated and launched without the help of a development team?
- Can you support and manage both hosted/on-premises and syndicated service delivery scenarios – side by side?
- Can the solution integrate existing business and operational support systems into cloud service provisioning, workflows, and billing?
- Can you integrate legacy systems such as broadband or mobile service management?
- Does the solution provide choices for the underlying technology on which it will be deployed?
In our next blog post, we will drill into the second critical success factor: the provisioning of unique service offers.
(For more information on Parallels Automation visit http://sp.parallels.com/products/automation/)