The surest way for solution providers to sell cloud computing to SMB customers is to talk about the technology’s business advantages throughout the sale cycle. It’s not just a starting point for the conversation.  If presented correctly, these benefits combined with your services will be what ultimately seals the deal.

As the architect for translating cloud computing into business advantages for customers, MSPs and solution providers are in the unique position of operating as the fractional CIO for many of their SMB clients. Part of that job is showing these organizations how to use cloud computing and other technology solutions to their fullest benefit.

After all, from a business perspective, what we’re really talking about with the cloud is how the technology can improve a customer’s business, drive down costs and increase productivity and network performance. There aren’t too many SMBs around that won’t buy off on that value proposition.

Of course, it’s not enough just to talk about the business advantages of the cloud, you must also reassure your customers that the cloud services you provide are secure and supported by a reliable enterprise-level infrastructure from partners such as Ingram Micro Seismic, Amazon, Microsoft’s Windows Azure and others.

Once all your cards are on the table, again you must reiterate how cloud computing technology translates into real business advantages. Discuss how benefits such as faster deployment, more flexibility, lower cost of doing business and, perhaps most importantly, access to applications and data from anywhere at any time—not only make life easier, but also give your clients a leg up over the competition.

It’s this ability to successfully articulate the benefits of the cloud computing that will accelerate adoption and bring the technology mainstream.

Remember, the value that MSPs and VARs command is not the technology the technology you sell, but the services and expertise you apply to that technology to meet the needs of your customers and drive meaningful business results.

Ingram Micro Seismic Justin Crotty 2010_3To hear more about the business benefits and applications of cloud computing, be sure to check out our inaugural Cloud Summit June 7 in Dallas, Texas, which will be immediately followed by our annual Ingram Micro Seismic Partner Conference June 8-9.

Justin Crotty is Vice President Services North America at Ingram Micro, Inc. He oversees Ingram Micro Seismic. Monthly guest blog entries such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual Platinum sponsorship. Find all of Crotty’s blog entries here.