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IBM offers dos and don'ts for service providers winning new OpenStack customers

Tamlin Magee | Oct. 31, 2016
John Arwe, a member of IBM's senior technical staff, offers some insights from the service provider's point of view

Do: Find out what your customer needs, specifically

"Another thing that can go wrong is why are they doing this - what do they really need out of it? One of the criteria that blindsided some people in a development organisation is they came in and said: 'Alright, we have been working on this for two months, it's just about there, we're ready to demo to the executives'. And this other group demoed with another cloud provider and they were able to provision 20 in 10 minutes - the moral is, you have to understand what your competition is, even within the company."

Do: Demonstrate how you'll make life easier for end users, as well as operators

"People resist change naturally. If you can provide something to them in a way that makes lives easier, your conversations are going to be so much better.

"It's not just using OpenStack with the people running it, the operators - it's the end users. Keep the end users happy, and the operators are happy, their managers are happy, and they'll buy your stuff, oddly enough. So you have to keep in mind that fact, not just making the operators happy but also the people the operators are dealing with."

Don't: Underestimate the importance of regional regulations

"Your clients have to deal with compliance - in the US there are healthcare rules, in Europe there's rules about where your data is - all these things matter more or less [depending on] which government you happen to be dealing with at the time or which industry.

"If it takes them three or four months to get through their internal certification process to make a new VM go online - which is not uncommon in the enterprise space - and you tell them every six months you're going to be doing a complete upgrade of the whole thing, they kind of toss a hairball on that."


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