Selecting the right cloud service provider for your company requires more than just browsing through prospective cloud vendors’ websites and reading about them online.

How do you decide which vendor to trust for the performance, reliability, and security you need?

Whether you are in the process of migrating to the cloud or a current cloud adopter, a recent Business 2 Community article provided the acronym, “PERFECTION” to remember 10 important technological and business considerations when choosing a cloud service provider.

Finding this perfect cloud service provider can seem like a daunting feat, right?

In this post, I’ll discuss how organizations can have confidence in their cloud vendor decisions. They need to be assured the technology powering their services leads the industry in performance and scalability. And most importantly, the vendor they choose should not only act as a cloud provider, but also as a cloud partner.

Here’s a deeper look at the top 10 considerations for selecting a cloud partner and how Cisco, through Cisco Powered, is able to help you with your cloud strategy.


1.     Pricing. In today’s dynamic market, organizations are looking to cloud services to accelerate growth and lower costs. But not all services are equal. Some cloud vendors may advertise low rates, but instead, they are really offering an “al la carte menu,” which could end up costing more in the long run. When choosing a cloud vendor, organizations should balance the value of this type of investment and choose an option that can be easily scaled to meet their flexible business needs.

 2.     Expertise. When handling sensitive or confidential business information, organizations need to be able to trust their cloud and managed services team. Cloud vendors need to be experts in their field. For example, partners offering Cisco Powered cloud undergo rigorous certification and a third-party audit of their solutions. The partner certification criteria and process includes validating the availability of 24-hour support, ITIL certification, and deployment of Cisco validated reference architectures.

3.     Reliability. Like any other technology solution, organizations must rely on the cloud vendor to ensure that services deliver the capabilities and performance necessary to enhance productivity. Cloud vendors need to be able to manage the entire hosting environment and be able to scale services as an organization changes or during times of heavy traffic.

4.     Financially stable. In order to be secure in this type of long-term investment, organizations should investigate the financial stability of a cloud vendor. Reviewing analyst opinions, reading annual reports and finding out if the company is investing in further cloud research and development are just a few ways to get a better understanding of the vendor.

5.     Easily managed. The beauty of emerging cloud solutions is the ease of deployment and ongoing management. A preferred cloud vendor should give an organization the agility to blend cloud and managed services with premises-based solutions. This way, organizations can easily on-board and manage new services without diverting focus from the core business.

Cisco Perfection graphic with CP


 6.     Customer-driven. Recently, Forrester released a new Private Cloud Wave, and the combination of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) and UCS Director garnered Cisco the highest ranking for cloud vision and strategy as well as a top three ranking for currently-shipping product. Customer input from over 100 customers was a major determining factor in Cisco receiving this rating. While the accolades are cool, what’s even cooler is when cloud vendors care about the success of their customers. When evaluating potential vendors, organizations should take note of what other customers are saying.

 7.     Transparent. Is your vendor transparent? Are they open about pricing plans, security features and contract negotiations? In our world filled with cybercrime, a cloud vendor must be open and honest about all facets of doing business – especially when the privacy of company data is at stake.

 8.     Integration. As the Business 2 Community article stated, many organizations are on the fence about adopting new cloud solutions because their current on-premise models are working. If moving to cloud-based solutions can accelerate your business, a cloud vendor should be able to blend cloud and managed services with existing infrastructure. With this approach, businesses can begin moving to the cloud with agile services designed to complement your existing capabilities.

 9.     Openness. Many organizations are not ready to move an entire infrastructure to the cloud. With this in mind, a cloud vendor needs to offer open, flexible solutions tailored for specific business needs.

 10.     Network Ownership. By leveraging a strong and resilient network, a cloud vendor must be able to combine computing, networking, and storage resources within the data center to deliver a high-quality cloud experience to the end user. A holistic approach to network ownership can ensure that the vendor can mitigate any unexpected challenges and manage the overall infrastructure.

Adopting a clear strategy is vital for long-term cloud success. Building any cloud requires a customized solution that can accommodate multiple approaches to serve the needs of business today and into the future. More than ever, customers want solutions that can align with long-term goals and need a cloud vendor that strives for PERFECTION, rising above meeting minimum requirements and becoming a partner in your organization’s success.

Visit Cisco Cloud Perspectives to learn more about how Cisco is the right cloud partner for your organization. Be sure to follow @CiscoCloud & @Cisco_Powered on Twitter and join the conversation, #CiscoCloud. #CiscoPowered




Xander Uyleman

Senior Manager

Global Partner Marketing