Now some of you clicked on this link accidentally or are probably wondering what kind of insane argument for the cloud I have. After all, your clients don’t want the cloud, don’t trust the cloud, will never want their data on the Internet and are just looking for a good debate. I’ve had that debate for years and this ain’t one of them so I don’t want to waste your time, just follow this link to the place where the folks that disagreed with me inevitably end up at. Sorry, but that’s the harsh reality of business in an emerging technology field and not liking innovation.
Why cloud file servers just don’t make sense..
There is that problem of broadband just not being broad enough for the large files we sometimes move around. Even in the small business with a 10Mb uplink that pipe can get not-so-broad during business hours while everyone is streaming youtube videos.
Then there is the issue of location, politics and regulation. Where is my data stored at? Is it in USA where the Patriot Act is going to authorize the government to see every single of my files? Aren’t all of the employees constantly opening my files just as they read all of my email and my attachments? Will I get sued if my data is not on my hard drive?
There are also questions about longevity – what if the service provider goes out of business? If you move to the cloud and the cloud explodes, are you going to lose all of your files? Since you have no control over it all, what if one of your employees or service providers employees just decides to delete all of your files out of malice?
REALLY: These are just a few of the reasons I don’t believe in the cloud. Yes, I Vladimir Mazek do not have blind faith in the cloud. I do worry that my bank doesn’t have enough deposits on hand and I might one day wake up to having new management there. I don’t trust my data center providers, that’s why I have more then one. I sure as hell don’t trust any of the hardware we use – that’s why they are redundant inside the box, spread across multiple boxes and the redundant across multiple data centers. Yeah, it’s not as profitable as say Amazon Web Services, but I don’t have a backup book selling business to fall back on should ExchangeDefender blow up one day. So while I’m awake (along with everyone here) we try to make sure that we wake up to the same stuff we went to bed with – a fully operational, redundant network.
So why in the world would you go into a cloud files business?
Because the clients are asking for it!
Wait a minute Vlad, my clients are NOT asking for it! You are insane! Never in my five decades of being an IT consultant have I ever heard of a client wanting to store their files in the cloud. They don’t trust the cloud. They don’t want the cloud. They want their files where they can see them. On a server. In the office. Not everyone is living in 2020 that Vladville is, my customers view of managed print services is when Office Depot delivers typewriter paper and ink ribbon!!!
So the reason the above argument is bullshit is because your/our customers aren’t IT people. They are not going to knock on the door and ask for the cloud. But they are using it and loving it and if they have an iPad they do know the features these gadgets bring to them. You haven’t heard anyone say this recently, have you: “I hate cell phones. I hate how all my contacts that are in Outlook are also on my Android/iPhone and how I can access all of my stuff all over the place and don’t have to lug around a 8lb laptop.” They don’t know that they are using the cloud – all they know is that this stuff is more convenient and it just so happens to run through the cloud.
Screw the cloud.
Sell the features.
But don’t sell it like Microsoft. Sell it like Apple. Don’t sell them voice pattern recognition software that will offload their message to a data center in North Carolina and send back search results. Click on the button and show them what it does.
Here is how you sell it..
Here are a few slides that illustrate the difference between the Microsoft approach and the Apple approach.
What I want to make sure you understand is that this is not a glorification of Apple or a conviction of Microsoft. It’s the mirror of reality: consumers are making purchasing decisions. When it comes to understanding what consumers want, Apple has beaten Microsoft repeatedly, convincingly and decisively – to the extent that Microsoft itself is changing it’s model. Respectfully, so should we.
Appeal to what your clients want. Not to what they need. Because for the most part they are the same thing, but if you phrase it correctly it will appeal more. Here is what your clients need:
Sounds great, right? Except nobody outside of data center business and the accountants that serve them knows what SAS 70 audit is. The redundant data centers are great but it sounds like I’m just going to be paying for a lot of stuff I won’t be using. And as a consumer I am not sure if you’re telling me you’re going to destroy my data or not but I don’t like the idea of it at all.
Now let’s translate the above to English:
This is the conversation that is easier to have.
This is also a conversation in which you’ll easily overcome any objections. For example, how is business level accountability any better than Bob the IT guy that works for me? Well, Bob the IT guy probably has 15 other jobs and without reports, restore tests and ongoing monitoring is he really doing anything or just having faith that the backup job is doing it’s job? And where is the backup going, above his PC?
Besides the fact that backups are things that nobody likes and nobody cares about until they actually lose data. It’s the first time they happen to think about it. And they sure as hell don’t like to pay for it – but they will pay to have their work files on their home PC and their laptop and accessible everywhere.
They will also pay to know who is accessing which files. At what time.
They will also pay when the experience is exactly the same – your files are now on the M:\ drive.
As for the most realistic concern about the cloud that nobody ever asks..
… mostly because it’s a forgone conclusion: do you trust them?
The answer, for the most part, is hell no. That’s the correct answer.
With CloudShare, we have a better answer. But I’m not going to give it to you here, for that you’ll have to tune in this Friday:
Please register for the event today:
Friday, July 13th at noon EST
People love the convenience.. but when you can’t trust them then the price, features and the offering simply don’t matter. They won’t use it for business.
We have figured out a way to solve this. I would like to acknowledge that some of these concepts are shared with folks like Paul Fitzgerald of the Microsoft SBS/WHS fame because they are a trait shared both by the small business and enterprise: even when we’re not in control we want an illusion that someone, somewhere.. somehow does what is in our best interest. In the absence of that, give me the new convenient features with the fond memories I have of the past.
ExchangeDefender partners… please tune in, I’m about to make your cloud different from everything else that’s on the market today.