The Benefits of Cloud Visibility for MSPs and Resellers
In the cloud, you can’t manage what you can’t see. Naturally, that presents a major obstacle for managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud resellers, who require continuous insights into their customers’ cloud environments
Yet it’s not enough for MSPs to simply manage cloud resources for customers. They need to provide ongoing cost and resource optimization and ensure that their customers follow cloud best practices. They also need to standardize the processes around cloud management to make them scalable, automated, and repeatable across their clientbase to ensure higher profit margins. For MSPs, it all comes down to better visibility into their customers’ cloud environments.
Here’s everything you need to know about cloud visibility for MSPs — what cloud visibility means, why it matters, and how to improve it:
What is cloud visibility?
Cloud visibility is the ability to see all activity and performance in your cloud. That visibility means that you can manage, monitor, track, and optimize a cloud environment in the most seamless manner possible. While it’s possible to obtain some cloud visibility using native tools from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, or other public cloud providers, many MSPs achieve cloud visibility through a third-party cloud management solution.
What results from a lack of cloud visibility for MSPs?
With little to no cloud visibility, MSPs cannot accurately manage their customers’ cloud environments. That leads to an increase in time spent tracking costs, generating invoices, and performing other manual account management tasks.
Some common problems in cloud visibility include:
Inaccurate end-customer billing
Without visibility, it’s difficult to accurately allocate costs to the right cost center or customer. This can occur due to blending of costs for resources (like Reserved Instances), poor tag management, and other inefficiencies. As a result, MSPs may end up absorbing costs and losing out on volume discounts.
More time spent on manual tasks
Lack of visibility means that it can be a challenge to gather the right data about the customer’s cloud. For MSPs, it can be difficult to manage multiple accounts, potentially over multiple clouds, which increases time spent billing and performing other account management tasks. Additionally, prioritizing manual tasks that could be automated gives MSPs less time and ability to innovate.
Lack of opportunity to increase profits
Standard cloud resale margins are already thin: just 3-7%, according to our research. That leaves limited opportunities for MSPs to scale their business and enhance those profit margins. Reduced cloud visibility for MSPs means not being able to capitalize on opportunities to grow the business — and keep current customers happy.
The benefits of increasing your cloud visibility
MSPs need comprehensive visibility across their customers’ cloud environments. That includes how costs align to each customer and which resources they are using. Being able to see this information all in one place is especially compelling for MSPs from a time- and cost-saving perspective.
A cloud management platform can bring MSPs complete visibility into all customer cloud environments, including multi-cloud infrastructure. Cloud management solutions can solve cloud visibility issues through:
More accurate cost allocation
Delivering cloud services to a variety of customers and environments is challenging to do effectively and efficiently. With cloud management, MSPs can see how costs are aligned to each customer, which resources they are using, and how and when those resources are utilized. Through that capability, the MSP can precisely and automatically allocate cloud costs to the appropriate cost center through tag mapping and other methods to ensure that the customers are charged the correct rates.
Enhanced customer experience
Traditionally, billing and invoicing customers for cloud services is a time-consuming and heavily manual task. That leaves room for human error. With a cloud management platform, MSPs can increase speed and accuracy of billing. They can also share the insights they receive with their end-customers, to provide a seamless and transparent experience. Service providers should look for a white-labeled platform that showcases their brand.
Greater profit enhancement
Automation enables MSPs to create operational efficiencies around billing, invoicing, cost allocation, and customer service. With less time spent on manual tasks — less overhead — employees can focus on delivering better customer service and bringing new strategic services to market. They also have better cost allocation so that they can take advantage of volume purchases in the cloud as much as possible.
Better visibility — all in one platform
Cloud visibility for MSPs occurs when they can manage all of their customer accounts with one tool. No more switching back and forth between accounts — they have insights into their costs all in one place.
CloudCheckr brings MSPs total visibility by optimizing costs, managing resources, simplifying billing, and automating manual processes. CloudCheckr’s cloud management platform offers visibility and intelligence to help reduce costs and simplify billing, with automated resource optimization and best practice checks to ensure a well-architected and efficient cloud.
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