Connectivity: The Backbone of a Business

Colocation: Why SLA Agreements Are Smart For Business

Colocation providers refer to data center companies, cloud computing providers, or Internet service providers who provide businesses data solutions that are usually hosted in colocation facilities. Colocation providers eliminate the need for businesses to set up secure data storage facilities that require a sizable running cost.

Colocation providers give businesses the option to keep their data secure and to store it in their facilities for a low cost. If a company employs external colocation services, then they won’t have to set up a data storage facility which would require electricity, internet connection, air conditioners to keep the equipment cool, space to keep the equipment, and resources (a team) to monitor, save and protect the data. Also, colocation data centers sometimes provide cloud computing services and access to multiple Tier 1 Internet backbones, as they are located near Internet connecting points.

What’s an SLA Agreement?

Colocation data center companies and their clients need to draw up a service level agreement (SLA) which mainly highlights the type of service that will be provided, the terms of the agreement, information about percentage uptime, data monitoring and reporting guidelines, restraints, and escape clauses so no party can take unfair advantage. This agreement is drawn as per the instructions of both the provider and the client.

What Should an SLA Agreement Include?

Before securing or signing on an SLA, a business should inquire about what exactly the client entails, and what services they will accurately be receiving. The main points that are covered in an SLA, which the clients should know about before agreeing to, are:

  • Volume and quality of work
  • Guarantees
  • Speed
  • Efficiency
  • What the facility will be responsible for
  • Warranties
  • Response time

The aim of the document is to establish and legalize the mutual understanding between a colocation provider and client regarding the service.

How Does an SLA Agreement Protect You?

The primary requirement for a business seeking the services of a colocation provider is that they keep the companies data safe and accessible. Safety here is the number one priority, and the SLA exhibits how the provider aims to keep your data free of breaches. If a provider isn’t providing your data enough security or hasn’t specified the uptime percentage or maintenance guidelines, then it is better to opt for a different colocation provider.

It is necessary that a client should read the SLA carefully before signing it to avoid facing the ramifications later and not being able to do anything about it. That way if there is ever any dispute over services rendered or if the data already lost or stolen, you can hold the provider accountable.

To learn more about colocation services, check out our certifications and feature HERE!

Small vs. Big Cloud Providers: 4 Components to Making Strides in the Market

Cloud computing and infrastructure is a rapidly developing sector in the tech industry. The production side of this market has a variety of businesses providing this service to both local and international clients and companies.

The obvious key players include Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google, all who have a significant share in the market. However, despite the massive hitters, there are others like the smaller niche providers, that can be taken into consideration as well.

Small cloud providers are an anomaly. Their purpose is aimed at providing services to smaller businesses that range up to mid-market sized companies that do not need to go mainstream. Aside from their market segment, a majority of them have also carved out niche specific industries like real estate, healthcare, or manufacturing. This go-to-market strategy gives them the shoe in they need so that they can penetrate their markets strategically. However, due to bidding wars between industry giants, the most common set back for smaller firms, like many businesses, is brand awareness and gaining customers. The bidding war between the larger firms is a classic example of Economics. But, the niche specific markets have proven to help smaller firms effectively gain traction within the cloud space market.

To give you an idea, here’s how smaller cloud providers score BIG points within their fields:

  • Customer Handling or Relationship Building
  • Specialization
  • Customization and Tailored Services
  • Innovation

Overall, these four key components are what make the ultimate difference.

Businesses are no longer paying for a utility like service – they’re investing in a solution. Similar to dating, but instead of thumbing through tender, you’ve committed yourself to one person versus dating someone new every week; the solution-based model removes the “transaction” like experience and helps pave the way for a long-term relationship. We break it down even further for you below.

Breaking it down further

Customer relations: Large firms do not have the time to give individual attention to each customer. They can’t cater to every customer’s unique need or spend hours dealing going over their service with them. Their methods are more formal and professional. The customers have to go through a chain of people instead of directly dealing with the person in charge. In other words, you pay me for this service; I provide you the service – end of discussion. Smaller firms, on the other hand, focus more on relationship building so they can retain their clients. Their dealings are more intimate because the people in charge are usually the ones handling the client’s requests. Also, smaller firms have fewer clients giving them the ability to spend more time with each customer.

Specialization: Small firms are more focused and are providing one service; unlike larger firms who are producing numerous services and products. Not only does specialization give smaller firms an advantage, allowing them to develop the most effective strategies and streamlining production, it also helps them achieve economies of scale.

Customization: Larger firms usually have a generic service with fixed rates that are functional for all their clients. Smaller firms, on the other hand, need to do more to survive in the market, which allows them the upper hand. Smaller firms can “tailor make” their cloud services based on the customer’s needs, budget, requirements, and the industry they are operating in.

Innovation: If you offer the same thing that everyone else is offering then why would customer select you? Innovative products and services are the name of the game and help establish a small firms mark. Giving them a leg up on offering unique services.

All of these points are where small cloud providers and cloud computing startups can create the highest value. Working on these areas is key to thriving within the market. Firms that are already focusing on improving these areas are seen taking more considerable strides in the cloud computing market.

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