Ask the Expert

Building trust with storage as a service

What is the best avenue for a VAR to pursue in order to create a lasting, long term relationship with a client who is looking for storage as a service? What are the best practices and, specifically, how can a VAR add value?

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The best way is to "prove it." To prove it, VARs need to demonstrate to the customer that the support, facilities, management and financial backing are all there to be successful. A track record with customers is the best endorsement. To alleviate some fears of customers and to provide guarantees about recovery times, loss of data, and responsiveness with some financial remedies will also go a long way to earning a customer's trust.

There should be a contract that allows for a trial period with some escalating terms so the customer can gain confidence and "sign up for more." Best practices is a term that can vary greatly depending on what is to be offered and certainly is more involved than can be answered here. Suffice it to say that is represents creating a template for storage service that can scale with the customer but is adaptable enough to handle the expected variations that each customer will have. The service must be flexible but yet still capable of gaining the economies of scale. Additionally it must have proven isolation for each customer so they feel that they are the only customer with no other customer impacting or impinging on their level of service.

Adding value is in the efficiency of the operation, the reliability of the access to data and the seamless scaling without impacting the business to meet ongoing capacity demands.

This was first published in February 2007

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