Five Sales “Gotchas” in Cloud Hosting

The process of finding a qualified, trustworthy and collaborative cloud service provider can be daunting. Between the pure amount of cloud computing companies on the market, the complexity of their offerings and the internal change management implications a migration can incite, the task typically falls somewhere between changing banks and having brain surgery on the list of “want to dos.”

In a follow up to our recently released white paper, 20 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider, we compiled five sales “gotchas” in cloud hosting that can trip up even the savviest IT consumer:

  1. “Our support staff is second to none – and available when you need them.”  On the surface, who could ask for anything more? But what these sales people may be failing to mention is that customers have to go through a 20-minute long phone tree routing system before talking to a human. Or that they aren’t available at all hours of the day and night (and, yes Virginia, this does mean at 8 a.m. on Christmas morning). Or that they’re underskilled, underpaid and undervalued tech support staff from the other side of the world.
  2. five sales “gotchas” in cloud hosting“Our portal system is so easy to use – you’re gonna love managing your infrastructure right from your desktop.” Ask for a demo and, if it’s offered, dummy access to the portal before taking any salesperson’s word on how great it is. Also be sure to find out whether or not there is one portal for all the environments you’ll be running (e.g., public, private, hybrid, etc.) OR if you will have to log into separate portals to manage your accounts.
  3. “We provide an awesome architecture. Diagrams? You want to see diagrams? Uh . . .” If your salesperson can’t provide diagrams that prove how “awesome” their architecture is, please don’t take them at their word. Highly redundant architecture is a highly specialized capability, and one which many cloud service providers say they have. If they can’t prove they have it, however, say, “Thanks but no” and walk away quickly.
  4. “We’re so financially secure, it’s nuts. We can even afford to pick up this lunch.” Don’t be fooled by swanky sandwiches and free rounds of drinks; proof of real financial security is critical. Cloud service providers spring up – and fall down – all the time. The ones that are truly financially viable are transparent about their funding sources and happy to discuss their strategic plans about longtime survival. The others? They won’t last long during the next downturn.
  5. “Compliance is so important to us that we learned how to spell HIPAA and HIMSS . . . and very rarely call them HIPPA and HIMMS anymore.” Compliance is gaining huge traction in the cloud computing world and everyone trying to make a buck is jumping on the bandwagon. If HIPAA, PCI, SOX or some other regulation rules your day, you need to make absolutely sure that the cloud service provider isn’t just providing compliant services in a “me too” grasp at the market – and that they’re compliant across ALL of their cloud offerings. Sad to say that most are not.

Have you had experience with any “cloud oil” salespeople? Please leave your comments below. And feel free to reach out to us at any time if you’d like to hear the honest truth about cloud computing and how HOSTING can take your organization further.


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