The two things customers want from cloud vendors

Cloud vendors could go a long way toward building trust with their customers and differentiating themselves in the market with two key changes in their approach.

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While many enterprise customers like their cloud products, there are often some general rumblings of frustration with their vendors.  Regardless of how long they have been doing business together, the size of the organization or the size of their cloud investment, cloud vendors seem to commit the same mistakes over and over that are ultimately fracturing their customer’s trust in them and are creating vulnerabilities.  By harming this valuable trust and creating frustrations, cloud vendors are often unnecessarily extending sales cycles or even losing out on potential new product adoption and the resulting revenue that comes with it.

Here are 2 key ways cloud vendors can ease the tension and even help differentiate them as vendors that enterprises want to work with.

Focus on delivering expected value

When enterprise customers take a close look at their actual use of subscription cloud products with a feature-level granularity, they too often realize that they are not using all of the features they signed up for (and have already paid for in subscription fees) — often as much as half the features.  There have even been cases where there has been no use of the service a year or more into the subscription term.  

Yet at the same time, the cloud vendor wants to discuss the new, more robust edition as an upgrade or the next product they should add to their portfolio.  It leaves customers wondering, “Are they really trying to help us be successful or do they just want to get more money out of us?”

Now, most companies acknowledge that some of the blame for their underutilization falls on them.  But they are also annoyed to realize that their trusted cloud partner didn’t provide much proactive guidance around what features they could be using and how they could get more value out of their products.  Frustration mounts when the cloud products that are not being fully utilized turn out to be products that the cloud vendor aggressively pushed for adoption with stories of immediate and long-term value.

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