As Cloud Price Wars Rage, MSPs Should Stress Value to Clients

As Google boosts its investment in the Google Cloud Platform, its main rivals, Amazon and Microsoft, won’t just play dead. They’ll look to fight back, and that means the race to the bottom on cloud pricing that we’ve seen in recent months won’t end anytime soon.

For Google to gain a seat at the table of the cloud platform giants, the vendor will look to grab market share from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure customers. Already, Google has shifted business away from Amazon through a deal with Apple to move some Apple iCloud services to Google Cloud. “As one of the world’s biggest companies with rapidly growing needs for storage and computing, Apple is a prize customer for cloud service providers,” CNBC reported on March 17.

Google won’t stop there. CNBC also reported that the music streaming service Spotify plans to shift much of its business from Amazon to Google.

For MSPs, this jockeying between the cloud giants may seem like it’s happening on another plain – and doesn’t necessarily affect you. But that isn’t so. As an MSPMentor article pointed out on March 28, these moves put serious pressure on MSPs to emphasize your value to customers.

“The explosive proliferation of cut-rate cloud services threatens to disrupt many MSPs, with some needing to quickly add cloud offerings and others forced to resell clients on the importance of the managed services relationship in the new paradigm,” MSPmentor said.

To drive its point home, MSPmentor quoted an MSP who summarized the problem thusly:

“It’s having an impact on our ability to acquire new customers because business owners think they [manage cloud services] themselves.” But as the MSP, Joe Popper, points out, “if it blows up, they’re in a world of hurt.”

Be Proactive

Why not let customers learn from their own mistakes? After all, experience is learning. Sure, but when things blow up, whom do customers call? You. You’ll have to clean up the mess. So why not avoid it in the first place?

All service providers have had at least one nightmarish experience with cleaning up a customer mess. Of course, that’s one way to win business going forward.

But it’s not the only way, and for an MSP, probably not the best way either. Rather than waiting for calls to clean up messes, you should be proactive. As we advised in a previous blog, the best way to stay above the fray of the cloud pricing wars is by focusing on value, and making it very clear to customers that what you offer isn’t the same as what they’ll get from commoditized cloud services.

Explain to them if they go it alone, they’ll spend more money ultimately if things don’t work. Be proactive and emphasize your value. In the end, that will be better than cleaning a mess.