Blog & Company News

Jun 28, 2011

The Developer/Reseller/Technologist’s Guide to Selling Cloud Computing to Small-Business Clients

  • Cloud computing can produce more loyal customers for the simple reason that it’s a better product.
  • Server instances on the cloud leverage dozens of power servers, but can cost less, per month, than a tank of gas for a small car.
  • The cloud allows for business growth that isn’t possible with traditional servers.
[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="300" caption="computing"][/caption] If you’re like us and you provide services primarily to the small-business segment, you might have experienced many of the same challenges we’ve faced when getting business owners on board with the latest technologies like cloud servers. Not because new technologies make us more money, mind you. In fact, a technology like cloud computing is drastically cheaper than traditional dedicated hosting. But revenue can’t be the end all and be all. It’s more important to us that we provide the best products and services, because that translates into increased customer loyalty. And that, of course, is the name of the game. So if you’re taking on a new client or you want to pitch an existing small-business customer on the benefits of the cloud, check out our list to help you win your customer over. 1. Save up to 60 percent on IT costs. One could argue that the savings could be way more than 60 percent, especially if a business was hosting servers in-house (e.g., in a makeshift server-room closet, next to the mop bucket). If you calculate the cost of the servers (which depreciate quickly) and the often bigger cost of building out a reliable network, you can see that a $39.95 per month cloud server seems insanely low-cost. Other than set cost, a business that might experience spikes in resource demands (say, during the holidays) doesn’t need to keep paying for a bloated server during the off season; she can simply scale her server down and cut those costs. 2. Have the reliability of dozens of powerful and expensive servers working together for less than the cost of a tank of gas per month (on a small car, at that). Whether your client hosts servers in-house or at a hosting provider, you can easily point out the vulnerabilities of traditional server hosting, especially if it’s without a raid or load-balancing configuration (both of which can add a substantial cost to that server). Although dedicated hosting still has an important place and may be a more appropriate option in some cases, a cloud server does something that a dedicated server cannot—it pools resources and leverages a heavily redundant infrastructure to increase performance and reliability. Put simply, if several storage drives or blade servers inexplicably decided to fail, their failure wouldn’t affect your virtual server instance. Because the server lives on the cloud, it’s not tied into any specific hardware. So for any business owner who has experienced the pain of a failed drive or lost data, this is a powerful selling point. And to top it off, a cloud server is substantially cheaper than a dedicated server. 3. Scale on the fly. We touched on the financial benefits of scaling in the first point above, but let’s think about this a little further. Unlike a dedicated machine, a cloud server can grow from the base configuration up to ridiculous levels in terms of disk space, memory, and processing power. So if you’re dealing with a small company that expects to grow like wildfire, why would you start with a server configuration that limits growth? Beyond that, and completely exclusive to us, is the amount of included bandwidth we provide: 50,000 GBs. To put it in perspective, it’s almost impossible for a small-business owner to use that much bandwidth. So there you have it—our quick guide to pitching the cloud to your own business customers. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below.