ONI Sales and Marketing Director Kevin Kivlochan not only believes it’s high time the business model changed, providing organisations a fairer system and better overall value, he’s also doing something about it.

“We’re all used to hearing about the virtues of the big players in cloud computing, namely AWS, Google and Azure” says Kevin Kivlochan at reseller ONI.

“Let’s face it, they must have done something right to be so dominant in the market. But what was once positioned as a simple and easy to embrace proposition when compared to an on-premise alternative, has now become quite frankly, a mathematical nightmare that primarily benefits the suppliers and not their customers.

While a very simple and basic cloud service setup can be appealingly low-cost (even free), which is great for start-ups and small businesses, more moderately sized and larger organisations are discovering that this low bar to entry ultimately comes at an unexpected price.

If you’re at all familiar with cloud pricing models, you’ll know that they can go from simple to extremely complex in less time than it takes to spin up a Linux server. It is often these almost impenetrable pricing systems that are making business leaders and financial officers struggle to keep track all of the costs and charges. Little wonder why they question whether the cloud is really worth all the effort in the first place.”

Choices, choices.
AWS now offers a staggering 200+ products across 70 services. Not so simple anymore.

But don’t worry, AWS have their very own ‘Simple Monthly Calculator’. So simple in fact, that there’s even a new growth market of third party tools to help you make the most of it. Inevitably, if you are going to offer such a breadth of products and services, simplicity was going to be one of the first things thrown out the window. Google and Azure aren’t too far behind either.

It’s slightly ironic to think that while compute, storage and other cloud prices are dropping through mass adoption and economies of scale, more and more businesses are experiencing a disturbing rise in overall costs. At least, that’s what many CFOs seem to think.

The best of all possible worlds.
But let’s assume for the moment that the current wisdom of moving a substantial amount of your business services to the cloud – hybrid or otherwise – is the right course of action. How do you work out your best option? After all, an identically specified server on AWS, Azure or Google is still an identically specified server, is it not?

Whilst I accept that there are many more choices of cloud provider than there are consumer utility equivalents, the similarity between the two services is not a redundant one. Indeed, today as consumers, we are seeing governmental intervention to improve utility service, value and price transparency. For the very same reasons we currently face with cloud services – the pricing/value model for most businesses has gotten so complex and confusing, we really don’t know how to spot a good or a bad deal until it’s far too late.

It’s high time that cloud services got a simpler costing model.

What price paradise?
At ONI, we have introduced an open, easy to understand and price transparent tariff system for all of our cloud services. Comprising just 12 product lines, what was once a complex service selection minefield is now easier to understand and fairer to cloud customers. That’s it, a dozen options that cover everything you’ll need for your hybrid or cloud solution today and more importantly, tomorrow.

To explain this approach with some context, do you remember when mobile phones first came out? Back in the day, when they started becoming mainstream, it was commonplace to pay as much as 50p per call and 10p per text. What a rip-off! But we all paid it and pretended it was okay. Can you imagine any company trying this on today and succeeding? Yet the cloud is still clinging on to most of its historic pricing models. Models where you still pay for both your ingress and egress usage. Models where pretty much everything is billed individually, down to the minutiae.

Are we doing anything revolutionary here? I don’t think so. We’re addressing an issue that should have changed some time ago. Are we doing the right thing for customers?


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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine