Our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ research indicates that 71% of small and medium businesses buy their business applications directly from the application provider. Going direct to individual providers is natural given the early days of the cloud market, but as services diversify and demand grows, the average SMB will find it increasingly difficult to manage multiple individual provider relationships.
Service providers, with their existing and often long-standing relationships with SMBs, have an opportunity to become the cloud services hub for their SMBs. In fact, this channel is necessary in order to fully realize, and potentially exceed, the predicted growth of cloud services.
For service providers, a critical challenge will be to determine the right services to sell to your customers. Below are three key questions to consider when building your cloud services portfolio:
What services are you selling today?
Cross-selling cloud services with your core services is the most direct path to volume, but the offerings have to have a logical connection to what customers are already buying from you. This is important from both a customer and a sales channel perspective as sales reps are as unlikely to pitch an ill-fitting service as customers are unlikely to buy it. For example, a hosting provider is likely to get more up-take on marketing-related web services than productivity tools; likewise, a communications provider will have more success with conferencing, or connectivity tools than web apps. Prioritize services that relate to your core offering, and opportunities for other cloud services will naturally develop for future sales programs.
What sales channels do you have in place to sell individual cloud services?
Many mainstream cloud services sell very well online – think hosting or email services. Others – such as hosted PBX, online backup, and even Office365 – prompt more questions from SMBs which require a conversation. Such services often have more package and feature options to consider, and some services may even impact legal responsibilities within certain verticals. If you primarily sell online, certain services may be too complex for online transaction and will drag down conversion. If you primarily sell offline through sales teams, certain services may not have enough margin to warrant the time investment by a rep. Build a portfolio that plays to your channel strengths.
Cloud services are exploding, and there is a lot of market excitement around each new service. General market and customer demand certainly play a role in portfolio development, but it remains important to measure each potential service selection against your ability to effectively sell and support it within your core business operations.
April 17-19 in Moscow, Russia
Russian Internet Week is the biggest Russian event for the online services industry with several thousand participants including startup companies and e-businesses.
Cloud World Forum Africa
April 23-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa
The Cloud World Forum Africa is the only place to discuss how cloud computing is transforming telcos and the enterprise across the region.
Saint Petersburg Internet Conference
May 20-21 in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Parallels Presence Builder Program manager, Andy Kugaevskiy will talk about PPB e-commerce and web presence potential at this e-commerce conference.
Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ for 2013: Maximize Your Online Sales
April 23 at 8 AM (PDT) / 11 AM (EDT) / 5 PM (CEST)
Join us as we share best practices to: drive more site visitors to your shopping cart, position additional services during checkout, maximize conversion at checkout, activate and upsell customers post sale.
Myhost.ie, an established, innovative hosting company based in the west of Ireland was looking for a robust and expansive solution to replace their shared hosting platform. Read more.
Lifestyle hosting is where many of the great hosting companies began. The first few customers were managed from the kitchen table; hosting begins as a hobby to express creativity and business acumen. For many this is also where hosting stays and has the most appeal. A lifestyle choice. Read more.
The next release of Parallels Web Presence Builder introduces a new feature called “Design Templates” that allows much greater flexibility for end users who want to implement custom site layouts. The new site layout templates can be fully customized and saved so a website can be totally unique for the end customer. Templates can also be imported and exported for sharing and professional design work. The next release includes 16 premium design templates to help users get started.
Learn more about the next release, and sign-up to join the preview.
As of March 15, 2013, we have made some significant changes to the pricing for Parallels Cloud Storage to make it more cost effective for you to deploy. Using Parallels Cloud Storage together with Parallels Containers and Parallels Hypervisors dramatically improves server reliability, performance, and profitability. Parallels Cloud Storage uses the existing unused disk space on your server nodes to deliver cloud storage at a fraction of the cost of SAN solutions.
If you are an existing Parallels Cloud Storage customer these price changes will be applied to your current licenses, you don’t need to do anything.
Please contact your account manager for any questions regarding updated pricing.
Parallels Business Automation Standard (PBAS) 4.3.3, to be released in May, features a new advanced integrated online store, with sliders, improved integration with Parallels Plesk Automation, and many other improvements and bug fixes.
PBAS 4.1 will reach end of life in June 2013, so now is the perfect time to plan to update to PBAS 4.3.3 and get all your staff trained for free! ($500 value per attendee).
Parallels Business Automation Standard training is scheduled for May 16 and 17 – Register now to attend.
Parallels Cloud Server and Parallels Cloud Storage are empowering Dutch-managed web hosting provider RealHosting to cost-effectively improve the quality, flexibility, and usability of its services. Read more.
Parallels Cloud Server empowers German web hosting provider Host Europe to provide its customers with the performance of a dedicated server and the administrative simplicity and flexibility of a virtual server. Read more.
Digital production house PlaDe deals with the creation of rich media files which are sometimes too large to be emailed to clients for their feedback. To address this, PlaDe wanted to be able to upload the files to a web hosting server which clients could then log in to in order to check on the progress of their projects. Read more.
The Mozy team needed to find a way to make it easier for customers to provision their Application Packaging Standard (APS) package without having to walk through 18 screens. Mozy was able to implement its desired business model while also streamlining the user provisioning process by decoupling the service offering structure from the provisioning interface. Read more.
Have you recently signed up for Parallels PartnerNet? Or have you registered but haven’t taken advantage of all the resources offered? We’ve just made getting started in PartnerNet really easy. Login and visit this page and follow the steps that are outlined. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the perfect time!
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1. Want to learn how to process files with extension .html through PHP? The following two guides can help:
2. When PHP applications are not compatible with PHP 5.3 you can downgrade PHP on the server. Learn how to downgrade PHP 5.3 on CentOS 5.x/6.x: http://kb.parallels.com/115733.