Cloud contracts need to be month to month

My latest opinion piece on BoxFreeIT talks about the need for cloud services to be on a month-by-month basis in order to both attract customers and retain them.
Locking customers in to a long-term contract doesn’t necessarily guarantee revenue.

A couple of real life examples in my dealings at Paradyne:
– We wanted to switch us a fantastic cloud-based phone system which was perfect in every way except that it required a commitment of 24 months – so we chose an alternative (not as good) solution that had a higher capital outlay but was more flexible ongoing with no exit penalties
– We needed to downgrade the amount of licenses for one of the cloud-based products we use only to find that we need to sign a new agreement to *reduce* them, and we could only do this after the contract period for those invididual licenses expired – we are now working on reducing our licensing commitment to the absolute lowest level to minimise costs (straight after we switch to our new platform)

You can read the full article here:

It’s a cloud service – honest!

Anyone can run a “cloud” service – really. People have been running “cloud” services for a long time, before marketing got hold of the term.
If I want to be pedantic about it – when I remotely access the media stored on my home server you could say I’m accessing a content from the “cloud”.

So let’s be a bit more picky about what we call a “cloud” service. Have a read of my latest rant piece on BoxFreeIT:

If you want a great listing of attributes that cloud services should aspire to, have a look at Andy Milroy’s blog post (it’s a good one for “cloud” provides to benchmark themselves against): 16 Key Attributes of Cloud Computing