How to get more value out of the cloud :: WRAL.com

How to get more value out of the cloud :: WRAL.com


This article was written for our sponsor, RapidScale.

Migrating to the cloud comes with plenty of benefits, like easier remote access, decreased cost on physical storage and increased security, among other things. But oftentimes, businesses that employ the cloud don’t take full advantage of all the capabilities at their fingertips.

“If you think about Microsoft 365, many people will buy license bundles, but we frequently see customers using only two or three of the 10 things that come with that package. Everyone uses Excel, Word and Outlook, but there are apps like SharePoint and OneDrive and all this other stuff that’s included,” said Duane Barnes, vice president and general manager at RapidScale, a managed cloud services provider. “Usually it just takes one or two people to adopt it, then everybody starts using it. Then you really get your money’s worth — because if you think about it, Microsoft Teams can replace your entire phone system. If customers realized all the benefits of the collaboration tools and saving money, they would implement them quickly.”

It’s true that Microsoft 365 has an impressive array of capabilities. Teams can be used for audio and video conferences, OneDive can be used to share and collaborate on documents in real-time and Microsoft Forms can be used to create polls and surveys with immediate results.

At RapidScale, an onboarding team helps train clients on all the capabilities of their cloud products through digital enablement training. The cloud provider emails clients how-to guides on things like collaboration, engagement and lesser-used features. In doing so, they hope to increase knowledge and adoption.

“Almost every time we talk to a client, we see that ‘aha’ moment where they’re like, ‘Oh wow, I didn’t even know that was possible.’ I would recommend customers have a conversation with their managed service or cloud service provider because frequently, you get everything set up to run, but you don’t always have time to get back and have those conversations,” said Barnes, “I actually had a customer call me last week and they were like, ‘Hey, we haven’t talked in a few months. I have all these things running through my head. What should we do?’ They were all great questions, and we set up a series of meetings to go over what they wanted to cover.”

“Don’t be afraid to take the first step and talk about your environment with your provider and whether you’re using it the best way you can.”

While conversations with providers are encouraged, at RapidScale, customers also have a fair level of autonomy in managing their cloud services. RapidScale gives customers a comprehensive onboarding process that lasts anywhere from 12 to 36 months, then keeps communication channels open and responsive from there.

In doing so, they’re able to help clients establish a base of understanding while leaving the door open for further help. Additionally, they’re able to see which apps clients are using the most, and which could be utilized more often.

“Since we know the exact set of services our clients have, we can suggest specific ones that might suit their type of business. We have a set of services that can do analysis on what their usage is, and present options that could be used more often within the centralized Customer Portal, it’s easy for them to access everything, and we can easily add to those capabilities,” said Bryan Krieger, senior director of software engineering at RapidScale.

According to Krieger, getting value out of cloud usage works in the opposite way, as well.

“It goes both ways. If they aren’t using something, we can give it to them, but also if they have something that isn’t useful, we can help with that, too. Maybe they’re paying more than they need to be for their number of users — say they have 50 licenses and 25 employees,” said Krieger. “We can adjust it back down to the 25 really easily, which helps optimize their spend. That leads to growth in other areas that have a bigger benefit to their services.”

While RapidScale helps clients understand where their usage lies, clients also have the ability to take matters into their own hands. They can chat directly with a member of the RapidScale team to make any adjustments needed.

“Our Customer Portal makes it easy on the customer because there’s just one place they log into where they can view all of their various services, as opposed to having to go to multiple different vendors and learn how to interface and log into those systems,” said Krieger. “We simplify that so that they can see their bill, they know exactly what they’re paying, and they also know what their usage looks like. They can add or remove services right from within the portal.”

“Working with the right cloud provider is really the key to getting the most value possible out of the cloud because it gives you the capability to take control of your own usage and decide what’s best for your company specifically.”

This article was written for our sponsor, RapidScale.



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Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.