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3 reasons you should adopt a multicloud sales strategy

March 19, 2019

3 reasons you should adopt a multicloud sales strategy
One of the biggest challenges MSPs and other IT channel partners face with selling cloud solutions and services is determining whether to standardize on one of the major public cloud providers (AWS, Azure or Google) or take a multicloud approach. While managing just one cloud vendor relationship could be easier in the short-term, it’s not your best move. Here are three reasons why a multicloud strategy is the smarter business move.
1. Each cloud provider offers unique services
All the major cloud computing players provide the same basic set of offerings:
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which includes things such as virtual servers and storage
  • Platform as a service (PaaS), which includes the tools and services that enable software developers to build applications without worrying about which servers they're running on
  • Software as a service (SaaS), which refers to the applications that run in the cloud 
Looking deeper into each layer above, critical differences among cloud providers start to emerge. Software developers, for instance, may prefer using the AWS platform to test new apps. Executives and office workers who are using Office 365, on the other hand, can benefit from Microsoft's custom mobile application support only if Office 365 is running on Azure. With IBM solutions, there are advantages of running on SoftLayer and Google's live virtual machine (VM) migration feature is a must-have for other clients.
2. Your customers already have a multicloud mindset
In the same way that it’s rare for a company to standardize on a single vendor for its on-premises data center, it's rare for a company to use only one cloud provider. IDC's CloudView 2017 report found that 87% of organizations have taken steps toward a hybrid cloud strategy and 94% plan to use multiple clouds. When MSPs sell services from only one cloud provider, they end up offering incomplete solutions, which puts a burden on the IT staff of the end client to figure things out on their own or seek out another cloud service partner.
3. Multicloud complexity makes your expertise more valuable to customers
Despite their choice to use multiple clouds, few businesses have figured out how to link together all their cloud and on-premises assets to achieve true interoperability. Instead of a harmonious hybrid environment, companies end up with multiple disconnected services. Added to this complexity is the fact that the next wave of connectivity, the IoT (Internet of Things) is bringing tens of billions of new devices online. All these devices, connections and different clouds can create gaps in network and asset security. Your customers need to be able to enforce strict, uniform security policies to these highly distributed infrastructures and connections. Providing consistent, integrated security across their enterprise—from the data center to the cloud and the network edge—is more critical than ever before. This is where IT channel partners’ expertise is needed to create a unified, secure and managed hybrid cloud environment. With your help, customers can start preparing for a future where hybrid IT is the norm, and they can fully enjoy the benefits of the hybrid cloud model.
How Cisco makes multicloud management easier
Some of the top challenges associated with protecting a multicloud environment include:
  • Inconsistencies in security process and policies across private and public domains
  • Increased security troubleshooting from misconfiguration of cloud environments due to unfamiliar and disconnected tools
  • New security breaches resulting from application developers opening holes in their efforts to develop and test new features
  • Complexity in designing and implementing a layered security model that covers multiple users, locations, applications and cloud environments.
Cisco’s Multicloud Portfolio, which comprises Cloud Connect, Cloud Protect and Cloud Consume, was created to solve these challenges. Cloud Protect, for instance, includes AMP for Endpoint, Cloudlock, Meraki Systems Manager, Stealthwatch Cloud, Tetration SaaS and Umbrella. Together, these solutions enable Cisco partners to:
  • Secure users and devices connecting to cloud environments from both on and off the network
  • Provide endpoint protection by ensuring the right security services are installed and configured, and by continually evaluating and dynamically taking corrective action based on changes to endpoint posture 
  • Secure cloud applications and data by detecting data leakages through sanctioned SaaS applications
  • Discover, map, baseline and protect applications for cloud workloads to help plan application migrations, identify deviations in application behavior and apply security policies for enforcing fine-grain application microsegmentation
  • Identify threats and monitor user and device behavior across public clouds and on-premises networks.
To learn more about the Cisco Multicloud Portfolio or to connect with Ingram Micro’s software desk team, call (800) 456-8000, ext. 76747, or send an email to ciscosoftware@ingrammicro.com.