What to expect when you’re onboarding with a cloud provider :: WRAL.com

What to expect when you're onboarding with a cloud provider :: WRAL.com

This article was written for our sponsor, RapidScale.

The onboarding process is a client’s first glimpse at what their relationship with a cloud provider might look like. In order to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, businesses should have a clear idea of the expectations on both sides.

Depending on the managed cloud services provider that businesses choose, all of this information will be laid out beforehand.

“We have a kickoff call with customers typically within five business days of a deal signature, and we review the scope of the services that they’re contracting. From there, we work to help them understand any data that we’re going to need from their side to help configure the services that they’re contracting — then give them that concierge service throughout onboarding,” said Zack Wojenski, senior director of operations at RapidScale, a managed cloud services provider. “In order to get everything put into production, we work collaboratively with the customer, then set an ongoing cadence with them as we’re tuning up those services to allow them to take them for a test run.”

Not all cloud clients are equal, however. Depending on things like the industry and the size of the company, the onboarding process will look a little different.

At RapidScale, for example, the onboarding process is personalized through direct end-user support and a hands-on approach to implementation and technology consultation.

“We have a pretty large portfolio, so depending on the type of project, product and scope of services that we’re delivering, we’ll have to collect different types of data and information,” said Wojenski.

Your cloud provider should actively seek to understand your user base, the applications that you’re using and what you’re delivering from an industry perspective. That way, your provider can give additional support information that may be specific to your industry, which is especially helpful in industries with specific security standards.

This is also the time when clients will be able to review their contract. The contract and service agreement should clearly define all terms, including rights, privacy, liability and more. Reviewing the contract ensures that both the client and cloud provider are on the same page regarding expectations and legal bounds.

“Where I’ve seen implementations go well is when the client lays out their expectations and criteria for success. Every client’s business requires some customization. The applications they run are different. The way people consume and interact with the data is different,” said John Rinehart, director of client experience at RapidScale. “It’s important for the client to have a business vision of what problems our solution will be solving. That ties back into the criteria for success.”

“In order for the implementation to go well, we ensure we continue to be an agile partner and set an expectation with our clients to be transparent about their evolving requirements.”

Once clients are onboarded, a cloud services provider will typically oversee the transition period. The amount of time a provider does this varies, but at RapidScale, it can be anywhere from 12 months to 36 months or longer. Support is provided directly to end-users, and feedback provided is then aggregated and reviewed by the internal team.

This constant self-review helps keep RapidScale’s support as helpful, consistent and relevant as possible, based on each individual clients’ needs.

“The goal for me and my team is to oversee all of the life cycle management. After the initial implementation, my team gets involved and our responsibility is to not only make sure that the technology we’ve deployed works, but also to modify, adjust, add and remove technologies based on what the client’s business is doing,” said Rinehart. “A year to three years is a long time, and a lot of things can change. Even though we may go in with product A, B and C, the client’s needs could shift drastically.”

This article was written for our sponsor, RapidScale.

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Kassie Hoffman
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