06-11-19 | Blog Post

Meeting your match: Finding the Right Cloud Partner

Blog Posts

The Internet is full of articles about how to find the right cloud provider. So why are we writing more on the topic? Primarily, for purposes of presenting prospects with the perfect ‘P’ – it’s partner, pal – not provider!

Alliteration aside, why does the word ‘partner,’ matter? Because believe it or not, your data management decisions should be made based upon a relationship. The information you entrust to the cloud has tremendous value. The responsibility for building, securing and maintaining your environment should go to a real person you can have on speed dial and not to a call center.

Personal attention, intimate familiarity with your architecture and immediate accessibility help to differentiate a cloud partner from a mere provider. When considering where to turn, be sure to ask detailed questions about how a provider approaches client service. Ask leading questions like “Who will be my day-to-day contact after the sales cycle,” “How will I monitor and access my apps in real-time,” and “What happens if I have a question or an issue after hours?”

Here are a few tips on areas you should focus when interviewing a potential cloud partner.

  1. Security
    • Ask for technological safeguards like daily log review, file integrity monitoring, web application firewalls, two-factor authentication, vulnerability scanning, patch management, antivirus software, SSL certificate and encryption.
    • Request a tour of data centers so you can ensure physical security is prioritized with strict protocols for access, constant monitoring, recorded surveillance and redundant alarms.
    • Demand administrative security and review third-party audits and reports, policies, staff training procedures and specialized training.
    • Understand where your responsibilities lie and seek a partner that can help ensure security in the cloud complements security of the cloud.
  1. Compliance
    • Different industries have different compliance needs. Ask about a provider’s credentials and ability to pass HIPAA, PCI, SOC 1, 2 and 3, ISO 27001 and EU-US Privacy Shield audits.
  1. Products and Services
    • Begin your selection journey by creating a needs assessment. Make note of the challenges you’d like to overcome and your wish list for a more efficient, effective IT environment. The right partner can offer articulate a road map that will help you arrive at your individual definition of success and work within any specific parameters or systems you have in place.
    • Ensure your solutions are protected with robust disaster recovery and cloud backup.
    • Inquire at length about the transition and setup process; ask to speak to their other clients to hear first-hand about their experience.
  1. Pricing
    • The cloud should be accessible to all companies regardless of size. You don’t need to have a huge IT department, a wealth of technical expertise or a Fortune 500-budget to create a cloud environment that meets your needs. If a partner candidate can’t assure you they’ve got the resources to meet you where you are, keep looking.

All cloud companies are not created equal, and size does matter. Just because a provider has significant market penetration does not mean they will deliver the best customer service, solution set, pricing or peace of mind. In fact, just the opposite can be true. Don’t settle for a provider when you deserve a partner.

At Otava, we take partnership seriously. It’s embedded in our corporate DNA to deliver interactions with customers that exceed their expectations, every time. Our single-pane-of-glass access point for your IT environment keeps clients informed, and our support model has resulted in some seriously legendary stories. Contact us to learn more or check out our testimonials for yourself.

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