With the right sales strategy, VARs can easily convince customers that data center consolidation is an asset to their businesses. You simply need to stress how reliably this IT strategy lowers costs, simplifies management, and, ultimately, boosts performance. Any company that relies on a data center will be willing to invest in it if it promises to pay dividends over the long term. These are the benefits you should stress:
Reduce Data Center Costs
Data center consolidation directly impacts the cost of running that data center. Environments that make use of less hardware require less electricity, fewer racks, a smaller number of cooling devices, and, ultimately, less office square footage. Better still, a consolidated data center is easier for IT staff to manage, further reducing the amount your customers spend.
Optimize Data Center Performance
It just makes sense that a simple, more consolidated system would be easier for IT teams to manage and give them more flexibility to optimize performance. Plus, because there are fewer aspects to monitor, the kinds of problems that slow down network speeds and lead to downtimes are easier to spot before they have a meaningful impact. Taking steps to consolidate can immediately enhance what you customers get out of their mission-critical technologies.
Securing sensitive data and applications is a priority for all of your customers—and often a losing battle. Data center consolidation gives them one more weapon in their arsenal because there is simply less that needs to be secured. Advanced threats have fewer entry points, and the oversight necessary to defeat these threats becomes less time- and labor-intensive.
Recovering from a severe storm, major power outage, or facilities maintenance problem is more reliable in the wake of data center consolidation because important resources are isolated in one location. Replication and failover initiation are much easier for your customers’ IT teams to handle, and their most important assets are protected from the unexpected.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Federal regulations such as HIPAA and PCI apply to large swaths of your customers and place strict mandates on how they work with digital information. Abiding by these mandates is a cumbersome and ongoing challenge for companies that don't make an effort to consolidate their data centers. Following consolidation, this management burden is reduced significantly, and companies are in a better position to avoid fines, penalties, and damaged reputations.
Data Center Consolidation in Action
Selling your customers on the benefits of data center consolidation is much easier if you can point them to some real-world examples backed up by hard numbers. Here are a few that will grab their attention:
HP reduced its number of global data centers from 85 to 63, a move that saved the company an estimated $1 billion annually.
IBM consolidated 3,900 servers into 30 virtualized mainframes. Following the move, the company used 80 percent less energy while slashing the 8 million square feet they had previously dedicated to data center real estate.
In the early stages of a massive data center consolidation effort, Microsoft was able to save $23.2 million on their data center budget, a 40 percent cut.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, stress that data center consolidation is a relatively easy process. Your customers can reap the rewards without having to commit to a major new IT initiative or interrupt operations appreciably. When framed in those terms, data center consolidation is a strategy that all your customers will be eager to pursue.