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From a Cloud Specialist to the Customer "Selling Cloud is not like Selling Cars"

HaleyC

 

 

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Guest post by Irene Cortes, Channel Marketing Manager 

I recently interviewed Hiram Perez, who runs a team here at HPE that is responsible for making sure that our end customers achieve success with cloud. He and his team work with both the direct sales force and channel organizations. I was curious if selling cloud was the same as selling any other technology? And how did he work with our customers to ensure their success with cloud? Some of his responses were thought provoking.

 

 Hiram shared with me why he believes that cloud solutions are unique, and what he sees as the challenges the sales organizations face when talking to customers about cloud.   Why the sales process for cloud is complex. In my mind, I know what a cloud is.  But what Hiram made me realize is that cloud may mean different things to different customers.  For example, if a customer has a virtualized server, he or she may believe they have a cloud.  Not necessarily so. Therefore, sales is sometimes challenged with educating customers on the characteristics of cloud – and explaining what the different types of services are that they could deploy, as well as the various type of cloud options (private/public/hybrid). This is not necessarily easy, since many people already believe they know what a cloud is. Hiram goes into some detail in what, exactly, is a cloud.

 

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Hiram explained to me why the cloud implementation discussion is so important.  Why IT customers need to understand what a cloud implementation really means to their organization and why it represents a new way of operating. He discusses why moving to cloud is not just an infrastructure decision; that a customer cannot have a successful cloud without having a firm grasp of what services the end-users want to adopt.  Hiram shares in some detail the importance of actually having a business plan for IT – why IT needs to understand the levels of demand for services they are evaluating, what the portfolio of services should look like based on business needs, how processes or skills need to change to accommodate cloud, and why marketing as part of IT plays a role in cloud success. This shift in mindset is one that is not always easy, since IT is used to being focused internally, and with cloud they need to focus externally, at what the end user needs.

 In many ways, I had thought that selling Cloud, though not exactly the same as selling cars, was relatively simple – customers knew what they wanted under the hood and where the car was going to take them.  This conversation with Hiram made me realize that IT has a lot to think about as they move to cloud.  Customers may be unclear on the type of cloud they need for the direction they need to take their business. It became obvious that our direct and channel sales teams need to work closely with our customers to help IT organizations understand cloud services and their end-user requirements for cloud. That it is more critical than ever to partner with IT so we can enable them to adapt their business models to fully embrace and achieve success with cloud.

 Listen to the podcast and decide whether you agree with Hiram that selling Cloud services presents unique challenges. 

 

 

 

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About the Author

HaleyC

I manage the HPE Helion social media brand accounts promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds.I have put my toes in the ocean of cloud evangelism for the enterprise IT industry. But my expertise is in Social Media and Digital Marketing.

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