Effectively Manage Cloud VendorsJuly 23, 2012
For our recent research on managing cloud vendors, we had the opportunity to speak with a number of vendors who were happy to give us their side of the story. I want to share their top vendor-customer relationship tips, all of which are about communication:
- One point of contact. Each of the vendors we spoke to agreed that having one contact or “relationship owner” on each side is hugely valuable. As for who that person should be, the consensus was someone with a strong knowledge of the business who can communicate business needs and future direction.
- Vendors are listening. When the cloud was first introduced, it was new to everyone – vendors and customers. Over time, services, policies, SLAs, and support processes have changed and improved. This has happened because customers told the vendors what they expected and needed. It may be one of the most democratic IT services available. Be sure to provide feedback on how a cloud service can improve your business. What is now status quo was once a special consideration.
- Stay in touch. Communication with your cloud vendor shouldn’t be solely problem-driven. Let them know what’s going on in your environment. Are you expecting to increase the use of their services in the future? How can they help you grow? Think of your cloud service provider as a partner, rather than as just another vendor. In many cases, they are hosting an organization’s entire infrastructure and application portfolio. In other cases, they are just providing a development environment for one or two applications. Either way, they are responsible for part of your business. Regular communication will help them serve you better.
The bottom line is to keep the lines of communication open. It will foster good relationships with your critical service providers and help to establish long-term partnerships.This entry was posted in News & Analysis. Bookmark the permalink.