Best Practices in Cloud Services: What’s in Your Go-to-Market Plan?

Last month, we talked about three key reasons for developing a go-to-market plan. In this issue, we’ll cover what goes into your go-to-market (GTM) plan–eight critical components that will help maximize your success. Whether you’re at the infancy stage of outlining a business case, elbow-deep in execution, or adding new products to your current cloud portfolio, you’ll want to be sure to cover these eight components in your GTM plan:

  • Business Summary: The business summary presents an overview of your plan. At a minimum, it should address the core business drivers behind the launch, highlight the key performance indicators you’ll use to measure your success, and identify your primary competitors and the differentiators you’ll focus on to compete against them. More mature plans may also include detailed forecasts and specifics about market behaviors.

  • Product Strategy: This section of the plan identifies the key products you will launch in your cloud portfolio, along with any bundling plans, special promotions, or other attachment strategies that will help you sell the products—including upselling and cross-selling to both new and existing customers. Any specifics you can include about differentiators between your offerings and those of your competitors will help you build your sales messaging as you progress further into the launch.

  • Channel Strategy: This is where you identify the primary channels that you’ll use—both to sell your products and to educate and support your customers—along with the resources, training, and incentives that will drive channel performance. In complex channel organizations, products and offers may differ from one channel to the next, playing on the unique advantages of specific channels, such as direct sales teams or online portals.

  • Marketing Strategy: This section summarizes the activities you’ll use to drive awareness and generate leads, both in your identified markets and within your existing customer base. In large organizations, the marketing strategy may also include activities for generating internal awareness. Such internally oriented activities are particularly important in situations where many groups will “touch” customers as they progress from purchase to activation to support.





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  • Customer Experience: This section documents the anticipated customer journey–either at a high level or in detail. Starting with how customers first hear about a product, it progresses through their purchase, activation, renewal, and possible cancellation. Exploring this journey helps to identify any “fall-off” points that may reduce conversion rates, or drive churn, while also helping to ensure that you’ll have the right people and systems in place to support the new products.

  • Technical Requirements: This section documents the technical requirements needed to support the new products. These requirements, which may be affected by decisions made in the previous sections of the plan, may include branding your customer-facing portals, and integrating sales and provisioning systems with third-party resources you’ve employed. Parallels can help you identify the technical requirements needed to launch your products.

  • Evaluation: This is where you spell out and prioritize the factors you’ll use to measure your success—for example, reaching a certain volume of sales in specific channels, or reducing churn of an existing product by attaching a cloud service. Try to be as specific and detailed as possible in outlining your goals and evaluation tactics—it will keep your team aligned and help to optimize activities through your launch.

  • Timeline and Execution: Finally, your plan needs to identify the timeline for execution, including next steps, the critical path for decisions, key milestones, and plans for reviewing and fine-tuning the GTM plan. This last point should not be overlooked, as good GTM plans are not static, but evolve with the project. As your plans progress, you can add details to increase the plan’s accuracy.

Do you have questions about how these plan elements apply to your cloud services business? Ask our market development team via Parallels PartnerNet. PartnerNet registration is free for all Parallels partners. If you are not a Parallels partner you can sign up for free at the member level.

Log in to Parallels PartnerNet for additional information and insights, and keep an eye out for future articles about best practices in cloud services. If you have a topic you’d like us to cover, email us at partnernet(at)parallels.com


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News from Support

Support for Parallels Cloud Server

Parallels Global Support team has been busy preparing to support our new product, Parallels Cloud Server. Feel free to contact the Parallels Support team for general product inquiries or if you encounter any issues.

Tips and Tricks from Parallels Global Support

Product Updates

Parallels Cloud Server 6.0 Product Release Now Available

Parallels Cloud Server is our next generation virtualization solution for service providers. It combines the new Parallels Cloud Storage capability together with Parallels Containers and Parallels Hypervisor, giving you a complete solution for delivering high performance, high availability VPS and cloud servers.

Parallels Cloud Storage works by turning unused disk space on your hardware nodes into a single pooled cloud storage resource, making it less expensive than SAN alternatives that require dedicated storage arrays and networks.

Combining storage and virtualization dramatically improves server availability and performance, and allows you to:

  • Eliminate server downtime due to hardware failures
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  • Deliver high performance, high availability servers that will satisfy the most demanding customer applications

We have also improved the containers and hypervisors in Parallels Cloud Server. The containers now use a new “container-in-a-file” format that enables easy migration and backup, and both the containers and hypervisors have rebootless update capability to significantly reduce service outage during updates.

To learn more, or to download the production release and get a free 30 day trial license, please visit the Parallels Cloud Server webpage.

Introducing the Rapid Deployment Program for Parallels Plesk Automation

The Rapid Deployment Program is an evaluation and deployment support program for web hosters looking to grow their business rapidly by deploying Parallels Plesk Automation. The program is directly backed by the Parallels engineering team, which stands ready to help you every step of the way.

Sign up today and receive:

  • Best practices information and guidance
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To enroll, visit the Rapid Deployment Program for Parallels Plesk Automation sign up page, or contact your Parallels Account Manager.

Mobile Server Manager Application Now Supports iPad and Android Tablets

The Parallels Mobile Server Manager application, which gives Parallels Plesk Panel administrators mobile access to the most important information about their servers, as well as control over core administrative functions, is now supported on iPad and Android tablets. In addition to providing core server monitoring and management functions, the application also enables administrators to view logs and manage their servers and hosted websites via a full-sized browser view.

Parallels Mobile Server Manager is a core component of Parallels Plesk Panel Power Pack and connects only to Parallels Panel servers on which Power Pack is licensed.

You can download the application from iTunes or Google play.

A demo video is also available on YouTube.


Case Studies

Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure Helps LunaCloud Deliver IaaS

Lunacloud needed an easy-to-use, highly integrated, flexible solution on which to base its IaaS service. Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure (PACI) met all of Lunacloud’s criteria—including easy scalability, great performance, almost limitless configuration options, and support for both container– and hypervisor–based virtualization.

Read the full case study.

Offshoot and Parallels Plesk Panel Let Crows Nest Barbershop Focus on Giving Great Haircuts

Crows Nest needed a better way to manage its bookings, as well as a more professional web presence. Offshoot, a Toronto-based web development, design, and hosting company, solved the problem with a new, easy-to-manage website and an online booking system, with Parallels Plesk Panel playing a key role in both solutions.

Read the full case study.

Insight Provides Robust Cloud-Based Security Services, Leveraging McAfee, Parallels Automation, and APS

Insight wanted to automate the time-consuming processes of provisioning, billing, and scaling the cloud–based McAfee security services it offered. Working closely with Parallels, Insight set up Parallels Automation as a self–service cloud portal, consolidating and automating a wide range of cloud products; while McAfee used the Application Packaging Standard (APS) to develop a robust, broadly compatible implementation of its software and seamlessly integrate it with the Parallels Automation platform.

Read the full case study.

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