The basics

With the growing number of companies getting involved with cloud computing, the number of service providers on the market is growing quickly. Whichever one you choose to go with will have a steep impact on your business. How steep? Well, you’re hosting your cloud on their servers or you’re using their platforms or software(s) to customize a solution. That means that, for better or worse, you and that service provider must be on the same page; working hand in hand; and understanding the others’ needs in order to get the job done.


Service providers should supply a cost-effective solution to your needs, and those solutions should be scalable. As your company grows and evolves, so will your service needs. And in order to accommodate the ever-changing marketplace, service providers need to be quick on their feet.

Innovation and integration

In order to truly aide in your company’s success, cloud service providers shouldn’t be chasing trends. They should be creating them. Often, these “creations” happen through partnerships with clients and specific need vendors. These partnerships allow service providers to create cloud services for your company quickly, the result of which is an easier path to innovation in your own company and added help in differentiating your brand.

Innovation and integration from a service provider should allow your company to target and reach your current clientele in addition to expanding to where you want to go. Brand loyalty from customers begins with brand stability from companies; for your brand to be stable, it must be supported by a reliable infrastructure that is integrated correctly into your company’s design. That means that the service provider must be effective integrators.

Full integration from a service provider means that they must be able to give you a personalized and relevant web experience. And not just for the company as a whole; your employees, your consumers and your vendors (when necessary) should be linked together in a way that’s efficient for your business.

Customer interaction

An obvious identifier of a good service provider is customer traction. Do they have customers? A lot of them? Are they happy? A quick Google search will let you know how other paying customers feel about that specific service provider. Once you’ve figured out if the service provider is reliable, you then need to figure out if they can provide the service that you need.

A good place to start in your search is by asking a simple question: who else does the service provider work with? You have a specific need, so you should find a provider that can give you the specific service you’re looking for. If they’re specialty is in a certain industry, say technology, and you’re looking for a more enterprise-wide service for your retail business, they won’t be a good service provider for you.

Focus on finding a service provider that knows a lot about your industry. IBM’s WebSphere Portal boasts 10,000+ worldwide customers, and their companies range from 11 employees to over 1.8 million. WebSphere Portal counts for 80 percent of all transactions on the Web. If your company is looking for an enterprise-wide solution that spans everything from IT to retail organization to vendor management to improved employee communication, software like IBM’s WebSphere Portal is a good option.

Beyond the basics

We work with IBM on offering value to companies through cloud computing, portal, and content management solutions. Those options are big and small; technically complex and fiercely specific; or anywhere in between. But no matter how complicated or simple the service’s design is we know that much of the value is in what we–the service provider–offer to your company in terms of both technical support and customer service.