New York-based MSP Brainlink is expecting as much as 90 per cent of new revenues to come from AWS or Microsoft Azure.
Raj Goel from Brainlink, an MSP that historically works with vendors Cisco, Checkpoint and Dell EMC, said its investments in public cloud vendors AWS and Azure have become vital in winning new business as customers begin to embrace multi-cloud strategies.
"I can say [that] with certain confidence," he says. "That's just a given at this point."
"[With single cloud offerings, it's like] you bought the dress five years ago and you're locked into that dress - you may have stayed the same shape, I haven't. Those are some of the reasons why we see AWS and Azure dominating 90 percent of our new business conversations."
The market shift has prompted Brainlink to embark on a "massive retooling and reinvestment" program in training staff, along with revamping its tools and vendor portfolio.
The MSP's entire team is AWS certified, with two employees currently going through Azure training. There is also an "AWS five star" on staff because AWS is, according to Goel, "black magic".
"We are seeing more need and more demand for multi-cloud solutions or no more captive clouds," Goel said.
"When we talked to our clients about cloud three or four years ago, they didn't care where we backed their data up. Today, even the most unsophisticated clients have heard of Amazon , and they all know Microsoft - they may not know Azure, but they know Microsoft - and selling a solution that backs up to Amazon or Azure is far easier to justify than trying to justify backing up to a single vendor cloud."
Another important factor for Brainlink when it comes to the public cloud is the "massive scalability and flexibility in performance" it can offer based on needs and budget. For MSPs working with SMBs, this can be a huge factor in getting IT budgets approved, as it enables investment to focus not just on a one-size-fits-all offering, but on an incident-led requirement.
And it's not just cloud having an impact on Brainlink's operations. Goel notes that broader market challenges, such as the current volatility of the stock market, have brought to bear changes in buying behavior in customers.
"The turbulence in the market definitely has certain clients investing and others pulling back on their investments," the CTO explains. "Some sectors for us are investing more than they have in the last 12 months, others - primarily financials - the volatility is causing them to be more conservative in their IT spending and investments."
He added that clients who usually can be counted on to regularly approve proposals, upgrades and projects are now explaining that they want to conserve money, and are also questioning whether they really need the IT in question. In terms of which customers are asking these questions, the MSP has seen a flip from just a few years ago.
"My financial clients today are having the same conversation with me that construction clients had three years ago," he said.
"Those clients were saying then ‘do we need to spend it now or could we hold off another six months or a year?'. These days I'm seeing my real-estate and construction clients investing more compared to their historical norms with us and our financial clients being much more conservative with their spending. I think for the financial, it's partly market volatility - the market is not behaving, and neither is the presidency, the way they expected it to. When the market is swinging 1,000 points within a day and doing it for several days in a row - that is not an environment our financial clients like to see.
"They can handle the market going up, they can handle the market going down; they can't handle the market being schizophrenic."
In terms of what 2019 is set to bring when it comes to growth for Brainlink, Goel says the MSP is "wishing" for a 20 percent growth in revenues and working towards that projection.
"Will I get it? I have no idea," Goel said. "I've stopped predicting the future, as I've always been wrong."
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