SMBs Still a Bit Clueless on Cloud
Brad Bono, president of Princeton Hosted Solutions, is targeting specific customer segments within that sector, namely healthcare, legal and automotive companies, and has found most of his customers have little real understanding of what the cloud is or what it can offer.
"They are seeing the commercials on TV, they are scratching their head -- everyone is hearing cloud, but it means something different to each person," says Bono, whose company announced Thursday that it will resell Verizon Terremark cloud services through an agreement with Verizon Global Wholesale, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
A recent survey commissioned by Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) revealed that the general public is even less clear on cloud services -- a disturbing number think real clouds are involved, and that stormy weather can disrupt cloud-based data services.
The SMBs Princeton is targeting often still operate their own servers entirely on-premises -- "they've turned a coat closet into their 'data center,'" Bono says -- and are just bumping up against the limits of what they can do for themselves in providing security, reliability and availability on tight IT budgets. They are realizing the vulnerability of their IT operations, which might be run by a single individual or an outside consultant.
Part of Princeton's sales pitch is to personalize the way cloud services are delivered, because the needs of the SMBs tend to be specific and to vary widely. Surgeons' offices with highly sophisticated medical applications and tight demands on security and availability need a different kind of care from auto dealerships or municipal governments, Bono says. Verizon Global Wholesale will be providing training for the Princeton team to enable that degree of personalization, says Quintin Lew, vice president of marketing.
Bono says he looked at a lot of different options for reselling -- "I saw way too many data centers," he jokes -- and chose Terremark for a superior physical infrastructure and what he sees as leadership in cloud service offerings overall.
Princeton is the kind of customer Verizon Global Wholesale is increasingly seeking out, says Lew, expanding Terremark's original base of larger carrier customers to include smaller and newer players.
Terremark will be front and center next month at our Carrier Cloud Forum event, Oct. 3 in New York City, as Chris Drumgoole, senior VP of Client Services, delivers a keynote address.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading