Everyone to the IAAS
As a consultancy firm, we see many of our customers ‘going IAAS’. From datacenters, resellers, network suppliers to larger workplace suppliers, they have all set up an IAAS service. Or are thinking about starting an IAAS Service. Recently IT resellers are developing an IAAS service alongside their traditional business. This is not illogical. For years, the public cloud has been growing, and there is the promise of growth in private clouds. This market is also increasing, but not by a long shot, according to the yearly expectations.
Setting up and delivering IAAS
So it is understandable that many Dutch IT companies set up and want to sell IAAS services. The market seems to be growing, and the market demands it. And, without simplifying it, technical setting up an IAAS service is doable. The technology needed is easy to get from the market. And you can even choose to buy it from a party like Uniserver or other partner-focused providers. The technology is not the problem with the IAAS service. But, the challenges of operating and sell IAAS service are more complex.
Besides the technology, organisations must have a service organisation. And if not already in place set-up a service organisation. You also have to describe the service and guarantees (SLAs). Due to the continue service and contract the relationship with customers will change. As comparision: You are getting married instead of a loose-fixed relationship. This requires an change. Both parties want to know in advance what they have in common. Because they have to be sure what to expect in particular, but also in uncertain times.
The latter change also has a great deal of organisational impact. You must change from project turnover organisation into a monthly recurring turnover organisation. The calmness is your revenue stream is a big advantages. But also the value of your business will grow. A big welcome, but it affects your cash flow and margins.
One of the most complex aspects of an IAAS service is your Go-To-Market. Marketing and selling a service is more complicated than selling technology or systems. To sell a technology or system your client is aware of the problem. It is a problem that needs a fix.
If you sell services the client is looking for a solution for a continue proces.
From a Go-To-Market perspective we see a focus on the functionality. Or the appropriate benefits of the delivered services. Terms like fast, flexible, scalable, pay-per-use, reliable and so on. What companies can realise from their business perspective is often omitted.
When we look into sales, the salespeople of this service focus on the offer, the quotation, the deal. Features with prices and service guarantees. In doing so, they bypass why companies should want an IAAS service. We call this the inverted Sales Value Pyramid.
Due to this fact we are now in a situation where customers can compare most IaaS providers, one-to-one. The distinction is minimal. For customers, it is hard to see what service fits their type of organisation or situation. The customer can no longer see the wood for the trees. And can only focus on aspects such as lowest price or most certifications.
The consequence is that many marketing campaigns approaching a very universal lead generation. No focus, no specific value sign for customers, and no sense of urgency. In this way IT providers are burning a lot of money.
To bring a value-added service such as IAAS to the market is not easy and involves several logical steps. We use the following four steps in helping our IAAS customers with their go-to-market:
1. Who are you?
When marketing an IAAS service, you must know why you are doing this. What are your ambitions and motives? Every good go-to-market strategy starts with your basics. Your DNA and identity also play an essential role. Who is your ideal customer, and where is he?
2. What is the value of your service?
Next, you need to look at the value of your service for your customers. This applies to three areas: operational, technical and the business of your customers. What specific value does your service offer your customers? For instant is this service accelerating the company. Or the agility of his organisation. Either it is the basis for adopting new solutions such as AI, Machine Learning or Robotics. Based on that combination you can look for your ideal customer. The customer where you have a unique position and market your service.
3. Trigger your target group with relevant value
This starts with creating awareness in your target group. Based on current and relevant developments for your ideal customer. What are the themes that play a role within that target group. And how can you bring value to them, from integrating supply chains to an adoptive IAAS solution. Lead generation starts with an informative contact process. To establish a stable, substantive relationship instead of a product-based, loose one. Sales also plays a crucial role in this process.
4. Sales value
Sales must be less deal-oriented and more value oriented. This is a big difference when selling projects or systems. So why should a prospect want anything with IAAS at all, and why with you?
Understanding and meeting their explicit and latent needs. Do not explain how good your services are. And Sales must understand that the buying process of a customer for IAAS is long. Getting married is not something you do overnight.
The next step in IAAS
We appreciate that more and more companies are selling IAAS services. This offers much value to the market on both sides of the IAAS relationship. Take, for example, the current delivery times of equipment of up to 300 days! IAAS is a straightforward solution.
IAAS can be the technical foundation for many organisations. It gives them a basis for further growth and action. Whereas years ago, the data center was the first to form that foundation. IaaS providers are shifting upwards to provide this base.
There are opportunities in the market for (new) IAAS providers, but you have to know how to take advantage of them. Want to see how you can market your IAAS services better? We can help. Start a dialogue, and we will immediately give you the first tips for your situation.