Resellers have done a great job selling virtual machine (VM) hypervisors and generating licence revenue. However, many have struggled to open up more lucrative streams of recurring services revenue.
The efficiency, cost and operational benefits of a virtualised IT estate have proved enticing for businesses, but many have rushed in without laying the foundations or implementing the necessary management policies.
There is a great opportunity to reduce the complexity and over-provisioning in customer virtual estates.
Many understood the value and cost savings that could be achieved in the early days of virtualisation when it was more common to see one physical server deployed for every 100 employees.
Today the number of servers per employee has rocketed. The erstwhile saviour of the IT department has become its gaoler, with VMs being created for menial tasks and left to consume valuable resources.
Virtual estates have expanded beyond the previous physical environments, but there must be a better way of optimising and automating datacentre technology.
Many VMs are left running long after end users have finished with them – making for additional, unnecessary cost.
Deploy tools that help customers manage their IT estates, helping them towards efficiency and cost savings. Such tools are no longer expensive and complex to deploy. IT service management and automation can also assist.
Once their customers have these in place, resellers can more easily identify any outstanding issues to be addressed before further virtualisation can be considered.
The speed new services and virtual infrastructure can be commissioned has accelerated. Resellers can also help their customers to achieve full control over IT life cycles – from provision through configuration, optimisation and ultimately decommissioning as services become redundant.
These life cycles can easily be automated, with preconfigured timescales from beginning to end. Self service can further reduce the management burden. A prerequisite, though, is ensuring end users understand the value and cost of various services, and how to prevent IT cost escalation.
Moving to a virtualised infrastructure is a major undertaking, so businesses are understandably cautious. Help your customers get their existing IT under control and equip them with management tools for virtualisation to allay their fears.
This can open the doors to countless opportunities.
Colin Wright is vice president of EMEA at Embotics
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