Running Cloud Solution Operations: A Headache or a Huge Opportunity?

The advent of cloud computing has created new opportunities for partners and resellers who are signing up in large numbers to offer cloud-based services, like Microsoft’s Azure, to their customers. There are more than 400 of these Microsoft CSPs – Cloud Solution Providers – in the UK alone.

And in turn, their customers are lining up to benefit from leveraging cloud capabilities rather than investing in expensive on-site IT infrastructure which cannot hope to match the flexibility, cost-effectiveness and scalability of a cloud solution.

But here’s the thing about offering a Cloud Solution – if you’re a CSP you have lots of new responsibilities to take on. For example, rather than contracting directly with Microsoft, your customers are now relying on you, the CSP, for all of their onboarding and ongoing customer support. Their invoice comes from you, not Microsoft, and you’re solely responsible for reconciling the wholesale costs you’re charged by Microsoft with the metered cost your customer has accrued every month.

All of this is very time-consuming and expensive to administer. These are costs that the CSP is unable to pass on so it eats directly into your efficiency and profitability unless you can get a handle on it.

Our research tells us that building the operational systems and processes for administering the end-to-end customer lifecycle yourself could take months of hard work – at least a year in fact – and that will bring with it a considerable cost and the ongoing requirements of staff to run and operate things.

And it’s with this in mind that Astel, a world leader in building technology solutions for cloud, telco and utility providers, has launched GlobillCSP for Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers in the UK.

GlobillCSP can deliver a fully operational platform to run your cloud solution’s entire customer lifecycle within a matter of just days and because we’re so familiar with Microsoft’s systems and processes, we automatically take care of any ongoing provisioning changes for you.

By delivering a fully integrated platform to operate your customer lifecycle, GlobillCSP reduces the amount of people and processes otherwise required to operate your cloud solution. This saves our clients significant time and money. In fact, CSPs currently using our platform report that they’re 20% more profitable now that they’re running GlobillCSP compared to before and are spending 35% less on administration costs now that they’re using the platform.

Those cost and efficiency gains come from improvements in numerous core processes that make up different parts of the customer lifecycle. For example:

  • We can reduce the time it takes to onboard a new customer by up to 50%, compared to using the Microsoft portal
  • Rather than it taking several days to compete a reconciliation process against the Microsoft bill, we can produce an individual subscription reconciliation report in just a few minutes
  • We make it possible for you to complete the entire billing process for up to 10,000 customers within just 30 minutes
  • We can deliver huge efficiencies in customer handling, helping you reduce the average time to complete each customer call in your contact centre by up to a minute

And once you’ve got the operational platform in place for your Cloud Solution, there are huge opportunities that come with the autonomy and control of managing the end-customer relationship. For example, our CSPs now have the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell additional services to customers. For example, you may want to offer a bundle including Office 365 or Dynamics CRM alongside Azure, and some of your own unique services. With GlobillCSP it’s really easy to do that.

Paroshen Naidoo, Commercial Director for Aeonova360, described this as follows: “The GlobillCSP team was able to tailor their core solution to our exact business needs, enabling us to create diverse offerings and bundles. This has allowed us to capture significant market share.”

And the feedback we’re hearing from the end-user customers of clients like Aeonova360 is that they like the simplicity of getting just one bill from their service provider, and having just one throat to choke if something goes wrong.

Using GlobillCSP to sell, deploy, provision and manage each customer seamlessly, frees our clients up to focus on offering an unparalleled customer service because they understand their challenges and what they need to be successful. And because CSPs are no longer distracted by handling the minutiae of operational systems and processes they can often resolve issues more quickly than before, usually without the need to contact Microsoft support. This is a total win-win for the CSP and the customer.

So rather than seeing the role of Cloud Solution Provider as one fraught with operational challenges, GlobillCSP turns it into a goldmine of opportunity.

To find out more about GlobillCSP, please email us at