cloud marketing tips By now, most everyone gets the benefits of the cloud: (Lower cost, faster deployment, pay-as-you- go pricing.)

Now, the marketing challenge is offering detailed, useful advice on HOW to move to the cloud. Two recent conversations with vendors showed how this is a great way to engage customers and prove their chops.

Approach One: A Checklist

IaaS provider Bluelock came up with an impressive checklist of best practices. I found it prospect-friendly because it:

  • Clearly states its limits: This checklist isn’t meant to serve as your diagram for migration, but rather it’s meant to help guide your plan before it’s crafted and also to service as a final pre-launch list…Depending on what you’re migrating (VM, application, or just data), you may or may not need to address every single one of the following check boxes.”
  • Is specific: Among the items are “Determine any changing OS or app licensing provisions,” consider the need to convert disk formats (…”AWS uses AMI, which is different from VMware VMDK, which is different from Microsoft VHD.  Be sure you have converter tools and know how to do the conversion…”) and the ability to recover your data (“as well as configurations, performance statistics and other metadata.”)
  • Is honest about the tough work customers just do themselves: “Before you choose the application to migrate, check the coupling and connectivity of your application to other applications…There’s no magic formula for assessing this checkbox, just knowing your architecture, how everything connects and how closely those apps need to be coupled to run efficiently…”
  • Is pitch-free: There’s no explicit, or even implicit, pitch for Bluelock’s services. They’re just helping prospects think through their migrations. In the process, they’re showing how well they understand the gritty details of migrating applications and data to the cloud. That’s a powerful advertisement for Bluelock over competitors with “me-too” messaging.

Approach Two: A Tool

Services and software provider Cloud Technology Partners takes a different tack by combining more than 160 cloud migration rules in its PaaSLane analysis tool. PaaSLane automatically finds and suggests fixes to problems with Java and .NET Application Code, even estimating how long the remediation will take.

CTP claims PaaSLane can speed migration 25% by  identifying “blockers” that would prevent an application from running in a specific cloud platform, recommending which cloud-based services can  replace third-party or custom-written services and how to optimize an application’s compatibility, elasticity or performance on specific clouds. It also identifies often-overlooked governance and policy issues to enforce corporate standards and recommends code quality standards.

For example, to avoid the excessive coupling of components Bluelock warned about, PaaSLane detects remote procedure calls or remote method invocations “that might indicate tight coupling of application components” which are “more brittle and less predictable” in the cloud than message queuing.

What’s Your Advice?

All this just scratches the surface of what it takes to move to the cloud.  Each of those 160 migration rules in PaaSLane, for example, could provide grist for a more detailed blog post. Then there are the pros and cons of various cloud providers, cloud development languages, storage technologies and approaches to cloud security.

All that means opportunity for cloud hardware, software and services vendors. If you have some specific, proven migration smarts, now’s the time to start sharing it.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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