Investing in Ireland’s cloud future
While there are still perceived barriers for businesses on their journey to the cloud – including concerns over cybersecurity and digital infrastructure — it’s pretty clear where the future lies. According to a recent survey by data centre company Equinix, 64% of Irish firms expect to move further to the cloud in the coming years.
For IT providers in the country, this presents a huge opportunity. If they can expand their portfolio – and become a one-stop shop for all things cloud – they’ll forge closer and more trusted relationships with their customers. And that’s the driver behind Westcoast Cloud’s current Irish initiative.
“It sounds simple on the surface,” says Jackson Felden, Sales Manager at Westcoast Cloud. “But we know there’s deep complexity in putting together a complete cloud solution. It can be hard for resellers to access the knowledge, training and sales support to make it a success. Which is why, typically, they’ll partner with a Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) who can help provision everything required – from hardware devices and software licences, to technical training and ongoing support.”
Westcoast Cloud has been investing heavily in Ireland this year to strengthen the CSP offer available to local resellers and their customers, including new facilities for skills and training.
The hope is to enable partners to provision solutions such as Office 365 to increase productivity, Azure for migrating workloads to the cloud and Dynamics 365 to improve customer relationships – all while reducing exposure to risk through additional security products. For example, the built-in privacy policies of Azure Security Center and Office 365 Security & Compliance Center can deliver out-of-the-box GDPR compliance by safeguarding different categories of personal data.
Access to class-leading cloud tools is just one part of the equation though. Local cloud expertise is undoubtably a key factor for businesses who want to move further to the cloud. In fact, the Equinix survey revealed that 67% of firms in Ireland felt it was important to have a nearby CSP presence.
“At Westcoast Cloud, we’re taking that seriously. We’re recruiting more partners and making more local teams available for training and support,” says Jackson.
IT solutions and cloud provider INNOVATE has been partnering with Westcoast Cloud for the last five years. It wanted to enhance its cloud expertise to support the growing number of customers who are choosing ‘as-a-service’ IT models over a costly refresh of on-site hardware.
“There’s a lot of appeal in a predictable monthly fee,” says Annette Soraine, Chief Commercial Officer at INNOVATE. “So alongside user apps like Office 365, our customers are moving more of their core compute requirements to platforms like Azure.
“Westcoast Cloud really understand the Microsoft cloud ecosystem and help us make the most of it for our customers. They help us with license management and billing portals; they train us up on new capabilities, and are happy to join us onsite with clients to show what’s possible. They are very proactive in the way they work with us – and their local presence gives us access to expertise in a really easy way.”
Given the growing momentum behind cloud, there’s a huge opportunity for resellers to expand their existing client relationships by building up a more complete offer in this space. Partnering with a local CSP such as Westcoast Cloud, with access to the full portfolio of a major cloud vendor, may just be the perfect way to capitalise.
For more information on Westcoast Cloud, visit www.westcoastcloud.co.uk