Duane Thorpe

How to Choose the Best Cloud Partner

By: Duane Thorpe, Director of Sales

Choosing a cloud delivery partner may seem to be a daunting task as there are literally thousands of companies touting cloud expertise. So, how to choose? The selection requires some initial internal review to determine where your company is in its cloud journey. Why are you moving to cloud, your key goals of the move (organizationally and for cost), requirements and security needs are just a few critical questions that need to be considered.

Partner selection is a very important process and vital to the success of your cloud journey. The good news is that there is a place to look where potential partners have already been qualified. Whichever Cloud Service Provider (CSP) you choose, visit their partner portal to see how the CSP has qualified partners to meet your requirements. For simplicity, we will use the industry leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a reference point.

AWS has a very informative tool on its partner page (http://www.aws-partner-directory.com/PartnerDirectory/PartnerSearch?type=SI). AWS ranks its partners in two categories- Consulting Partners, which typically act as system integrators and consultants, and Technology Partners, typically Independent Software Vendors (ISV). Consulting Partners are ranked as Premier Partners, Advanced Partners, Standard Partners, and Registered Partners.. Premier Partners are the crème de la crème of the AWS partner ecosystem and should be among the top choices in your decision process. What makes a partner premier in the eyes of AWS and why should that be important to your company?

Premier Partners are qualified by:

  • Focus on the customer
  • Number of Globally Certified Architects and qualified personnel on staff (AWS proven skill set)
  • Customer testimonials
  • Use cases

Even within the Premier Partners category there exist differences between partners and their companies’ focus, so it is important to determine what type of partner you need. Ask yourself:

  • Do I need a partner that is more focused on building and managing my workloads in the cloud?
  • Do I need a partner that is more focused on application development?
  • Do I need a partner that is a business consultant?
  • Do I want a partner that does everything from strategy to managed services or do I want to handle this myself?

Once you think you have found your short list of partners that seem to fit your requirements, have an in-depth discussion with them to determine that their company is a good fit and that they demonstrate in-depth cloud knowledge. If you are comfortable at this stage, ask to speak to some existing customers who have similar size and type of workloads. Once you have cleared this final hurdle, you should have confidence that the partner you have chosen will be a good fit for your company.

Duane Thorpe is the Director of Sales at JHC Technology. Please connect with him via email dthorpe@jhctechnology.com or through LinkedIn.

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