RiverMeadow Software Inc. introduced a new professional services and partner enablement program designed to help its cloud partners develop and offer their own cloud migration tools to customers. The service is based on RiverMeadow's cloud migration Software as a Service (SaaS) technology.
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Cloud customers don't want to go to an independent integrator for professional services -- migration services or otherwise; they want these services from their trusted cloud provider, said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corp., a Voorhees, N.J.-based consultancy. The primary provider will shoulder the bulk of the responsibility to educate its customers on cloud migration strategies, but that doesn't mean the provider won't also need help developing these capabilities. The newly launched RiverMeadow Worldwide Services Organization promises to give providers the technology and instruction needed to successfully offer cloud migration -- a stumbling block and pain point for many business customers.
"The [businesses] that are most likely going to benefit from the cloud are the least likely to be able to support a migration to it -- they need help," Nolle said. "Many businesses also perceive having one relationship with one provider to be better, so it makes sense to empower the cloud provider to be the source of professional services -- such as migration services."
Cloud partners, end customers benefit from cloud migration enablement program
RiverMeadow's Worldwide Services Organization program is based on its cloud migration software, which automates the process of moving physical or virtual servers to a cloud environment, or between clouds. Rather than sell the software directly to end customers, RiverMeadow sells its SaaS offerings through its partners. While the partner-driven strategy is helpful in expanding RiverMeadow's reach into the market, rather than reaching out to business customers on their own, the new partner enablement program will also empower cloud partners with more cloud migration credibility and the expertise needed to meet new and existing customer requirements, said Jeff Kaplan, managing director of Thinkstrategies Inc., a Wellesley, Mass.-based consultancy specializing in cloud services.
Service providers who partner with RiverMeadow already have clouds and are waiting for customers to move their workloads to them, said Carlos Granda, executive vice president of worldwide services at RiverMeadow. The program will help the RiverMeadow's cloud partners develop best practices and proven methodologies related to RiverMeadow's cloud migration SaaS in order to help cloud customers develop better cloud roadmaps and migration approaches, he said.
Cloud partners will also be able to earn certification in cloud migration tools, training and approaches through RiverMeadow's program, Granda said. "As providers join the partner ecosystem and become certified, it could mean more revenue for them from a services point of view and more revenue for RiverMeadow, because as more customers migrate, they'll be using our cloud migration SaaS on the back end," he said.
Professional cloud services must be tied to cloud migration tools
Savvis Inc., a CenturyLink company, uses RiverMeadow cloud migration software tool -- among other provider's cloud migration tools -- within some of its customers' cloud environments and is in the process of evaluating the Worldwide Services Organization, said Dawn Carey, manager of cloud business development for the Monroe, La.-based company.
Savvis has its own migration practice within its consulting arm that will be augmented well by RiverMeadow's new cloud partner enablement program, Carey said.
"RiverMeadow is noticing that cloud migrations are not always as straightforward as may be initially thought, and this oftentimes requires providers to offer professional services or more consulting in order to make sure we are looking at the environment in an application-centric level and be able to move that to the appropriate stack," she said. RiverMeadow's professional services program tied to its software offerings will help reduce [migration] risks even further for Savvis customers, Carey said.
Cloud providers who are able to offer professional services tied to their software offerings will be more attractive to businesses, but many cloud providers don't have enough experience to offer both professional services and their own, internally developed cloud migration software yet, Thinkstrategies' Kaplan said.
"As the ability to migrate applications to the cloud and across clouds becomes much more mainstream, "cloud partners will also become more experienced and better able to sell this capability and provide these professional services on their own," he said.
Cloud providers want to have the right tools that customers are looking for in the meantime and are becoming more comfortable developing professional services on a third-party provider's technology. "Providers are looking at the direction their customers are moving in and are very interested in acquiring capabilities through alliances or partnerships without having to build their own solutions," Kaplan said.
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