The Cloud goes to the Enterprise (role reversal)

I don’t choose to write often about “Cloud Computing”, as there’s already plenty of more knowledgeable folks writing articles, giving opinions on this maturing technology delivery models particularly (IaaS), (PaaS)  and (Saas).

If at all I would offer comment or a view point, as a consumer or end user,  mainly in the areas of personal knowledge management or collaboration software services which I have a keen interest.

But I’ve noticed a marked change in the approach key Cloud providers (Amazon, Google, Microsoft) are taking to help major businesses (enterprises) embrace or on-board to their cloud services.  This is the rise of the Enterprise | Premium level service support area.  OK, this may not be new, but to me this now definitely more prominent and comprehensive part of the service portfolio on offer.

Whilst the traditional stance has been to expect the customer to self-service | self-support themselves to a greater or majority case. I think this trend towards to more comprehensive Enterprise (IT) Service Management is a recognition of the need by service providers to be much more responsive, not solely rely on technological automation and scale to deliver the level of quality and relationship expected.  Instead of the customer gearing up and extending their skill and ability to be able consume “cloud services” effectively and with less risk. The service providers are now reaching out with more services to reduce this risk and skills gaps from their customers to feel more confident about consuming these services.

Of course, there is also the business partner | service integrator middleman approach, which is very common and frequently the method used by a cloud pure play to add the “service management wrap around” for their “raw” service capability.  So the build of service management capability into the service provider is going to be an interesting playing field for incumbents and new arrivals to that market space. 

This is most noticeable cloud provider to go with Enterprise-scale service support is Amazon – Premium Support :

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The fact that Architecture Support for Enterprise level is defined as:

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Demonstrates the acknowledgement of the level of enterprise architecture and system integration required by Enterprise scale customers.

Of course the usage scale needs to be there:

  • Greater of $15,000

– or –

  • 10% of monthly AWS usage for the first $0-$150K
  • 7% of monthly AWS usage from $150K-$500K
  • 5% of monthly AWS usage from $500K-$1M
  • 3% of monthly AWS usage from $1M+

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On 14th of June 2012 AWS announced:

We are excited to announce a number of improvements to AWS Support that we believe will deliver more value than ever to our customers. The changes include:

  • An expanded free Support tier
  • Lower prices on Premium tiers
  • Launch of the AWS Trusted Advisor Dashboard which provides customers self-service access to proactive alerts that identify opportunities to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps
  • Launch of Chat for Business and Enterprise Customers
  • Expansion of Customer Service phone and email availability to anytime hours
  • Technical Support for Health Checks starting with Amazon EC2
  • Expansion of 3rd Party Software Support to include Support for Databases (MySQL, SQL Server), Disk Management tools (LVM, RAID), and VPN solutions (OpenVPN, RRAS) running on AWS
  • Increased Named Contacts from 3 to 5 for Business Customers

With Google, and  Microsoft these services are less obvious, but I’m sure they are there to a certain degree, perhaps not across all their cloud services.

Google encourages contact of their sales team for enterprise support:

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and wish to collect some pertinent enterprise infrastructure details:

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Details  on Microsoft  are harder to find, but stem from their WindowsAzure Support Page.  Also what is not surprising is the expectation for existing support contracts and agreements to play their part.

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So, have you noticed this change too?  Or am I just playing catch up, on a set of services I’m not watching closely?

Do you think this is a significant shift in the market?

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