Can you see the Cloud for the Fog?

Cloud marketing is everywhere these days. You can’t escape it, from endless acronyms to unreachable uptime levels people are willingly being sucked into noise of advertising. Can they walk the walk as well as they talk the talk?

Unfortunately, it’s now the case that the bigger the marketing budget, the easier it is for customers to sign up to a poor service. I’m here to say that bigger isn’t better, it’s all down to how you treat the customers and how far you are willing to go to protect their data.

I’ve wrote this blog with the hope that it will not only inspire service providers, but also enable customers to select the correct provider for their requirements. To do this, I’ll be using two service providers, unsurprisingly named Mr Big and Mr Small.

Customer services
In their latest advertising campaign, Mr Big is boasting that they have 16 million more customers than Mr Small, however, when you analyse the campaign message that bigger is better it doesn’t always prove to be right.

For example, what happens when there is a platform issue and all 16 million additional customers are trying to call a technician? Chances are that if there are actually enough customer agents to handle this volume of calls, you’ll reach an international call centre, and we all know how fun they can be.

Mr Small may have less customers, but their customers are content. They have an account manager, can reach a technician within a few minutes, and most likely have the mobile number for the owner should they get really stuck. Whereas, Mr Big allows you to sign up online, essentially offering a box solution at arm’s length. Which would you prefer?

Price
Mr Big may argue that due to size their service will be cheaper than that offered by Mr Small, which admittedly may often be the case, however, you have to research the provider and remember the saying buy cheap, buy twice.

A demonstration of this would be if you are hosting your business data on a platform with Mr Big for around £150 a month and Mr Small offers you an alternative solution for £250. How did they get this cost down? Have they spread costs more thinly (due to having more customers) or are they using cheaper, less reliable equipment? Chances are they have done both to maximise profit.

This is where you have to ask yourself, how much would downtime actually cost my business? If you selected Mr Big and the platform fails, how much would it cost your company while it was offline? I bet it would be more than the £100 you’d have saved that month.

Privacy
In another campaign Mr Big highlights the fact that they have 47 data centres across the world to cater for its users. So today your data is in New York, tomorrow Hong Kong, and London on Wednesday. With so many malicious hackers, snoopers etc. targeting large corporates who also host on Mr Bigs system, how tight do you think the security is, as your data winds its way around the world on a daily basis?

Not to mention how many potential customers you are putting off when they are restricted by local laws stating they can’t have data leaving their own physical geography.

Speed
Out of these 47 locations, do you know where your data is stored? The further away your data centre, the slower it will be for you to reach and download your data. For example, a customer based in London, UK is interested in both providers. When doing a bandwidth speed test the company reaches Mr Smalls’ data centre in York with a download speed of 16.1 Mbps. Big’s local data centre in Bandung, Indonesia has a download speed of 0.74 Mbps.

Size can matter, but bigger is not always better.

About virtualDCS
The founders of virtualDCS have pioneered the development of the Cloud Computing industry for over a decade. As one of the first companies dedicated to Cloud services in the world, businesses can be confident that they will only receive the finest solutions. Their approach is to work in partnership with clients to ensure that their infrastructure is ready to exceed the service levels demanded by their business.

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