Cloud FAQs

FAQs & Glossary

Get Answers to Frequently Asked Cloud Questions

How much time should I allocate to build the business case or needs assessment?
Well, I’d say it depends on the company’s size and the complexity of its business operations and org structure and also how quickly they can make decisions and execute. I have seen large (10,000+ seats) enterprises with that could prepare their business case and needs assessment in 10 weeks. A less centralized company who had very little outsourcing experience took nearly a year. But I have also seen mid-size 1,500 seats organizations that would struggle with the data collection and approval process for over a quarter. The challenge here is to gather enough detail to be effective, but not get so bogged down in looking for exact figures and trying to predict 3 years out that you get analysis paralysis.

What is equally true for all IT teams regardless of their company size or complexity is that there are usually 4-6 iterations of the business case, that are triggered as the needs assessment and requirements gathering progress. So the short answer is that It’s a bigger challenge for a company to do than they usually think, and that is why IT consultants like Nuvalo can offer a real bridge and framework and keep the process moving along.

At what stage in the process should a company be engaging with a cloud IT consulting firm?
As early as possible. Ideally, before you have a burning data center or cloud project that requires a business case and needs assessment. In a “do-it-yourself” scenario, the default MO with any IT team, it feels natural to open your laptop and just start listing your technical requirements. But this organic path will take longer and will lack structure, and there is no way, I repeat, no way an internal IT team has even a fraction of the market knowledge and experience with the service providers that a specialized cloud consultant knows and practices.

In calendar terms, I would say that you want to engage with a specialized IT consultant a solid year before your current service provider contract ends. Because it takes all these stages in the Nuvalo process loop, including hours and hours of design, analytics and verifications. Even if you’re relatively happy with your current provider or mix of providers, you want to be as armed as possible for your upcoming contract renewal. The incumbent providers will only take your renegotiation seriously if you show that you have the time and wherewithal to leave.
Often, your IT team does want to make a switch, but because you are really buying into an ecosystem of providers, it can likely be hard to switch out one or a couple of players in the mix. It requires courage and accountability to marry providers outside of your current ecosystem, and it might be hard for IT to put themselves in this position. Again, here is where consultants like Nuvalo are most valuable, since they can assure the decisions you make are sound, and serve as an external source of validation and peace of mind.

How are you (Nuvalo) different from a cloud service broker (CSB)?
This is one of my favorite questions, thank you! For starters, the term cloud service broker is being used in several ways. The first, and most literal, is the CSB that buys and resells cloud services through a digital marketplace. It is a wholesale or distributor model, similar to a VAR, and their competitive advantage is mostly in aggregating suppliers, pricing and licensing. Some CSBs do have professional services teams, but again, their skill set is focused on their own portfolio of CSP offerings, and by relying on their platform, they can staff less tenured reps and fewer technical resources. When working with CSB, your contract is usually with them, not the service provider.

There are also thousands of independent agents and IT brokerage firms who are beginning to present themselves as cloud service brokers, who most likely began selling telecom, then moved into colocation, and are now helping their clients procure hosted voice and data services. Nuvalo is an IT consulting and cloud sourcing firm.

1. First, we are an IT consulting firm. That means we work with you on your infrastructure design and migration solution watching your interests first of all. You have a direct contract with Nuvalo for these professional services.
2. Second, we are service provider agnostic. We have knowledge of a global network of cloud service providers, constantly adding new providers to our list. This ensures that his opens the widest net of opportunities to consider. Even greater than in “do-it-yourself” cloud sourcing option, because it takes years to get to know all providers and get deep in relationship with them.
3. Third, Nuvalo is a sourcing firm, not a brokering firm like a VAR. Sourcing means a direct accountability model. Sourcing means that while Nuvalo helps you with service provider short listing, final selection and negotiations; your company contracts directly with a CSP (service provider). A chosen-by-you service provider as its discretion, and according to a pre-negotiated Nuvalo/Provider agreement pays a commission to Nuvalo. Your company does not buy cloud services through Nuvalo, but directly from CSP.

Our clients find our combined model mutually beneficial, and that is why we have had so much success with them in the past decade. Our process differentiation also guarantees the uniqueness of Nuvalo, because while we are so diverse in terms of the service provider stack, it actually takes serious YEARS of experience and industry perspective, which is EXTREMELY hard to replicate, and will continue to set us apart.

In what order do you consider different parts of the cloud infrastructure design?
This is where the OSI stack comes in. Wikipedia defines the OSI, or Open System Interconnection, model as a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Control is passed from one layer to the next, starting at the application layer in one station, and proceeding to the bottom layer, over the channel to the next station and back up the hierarchy. Call me crazy but this framework, introduced to me twenty years ago, has always served as a framework for architecture, and for beginning conversations with the network tiers (physical, data link, network, transport,) and working “up the stack.”
Once I know which application I want to move to cloud, how do I know which type of cloud and who the players are?
Nuvalo begins all RFP engagements by diving into and firming up project requirements and specifications from not only the obvious technical angle, but also business and cultural angles. It is straightforward enough to compile compute, storage, network and connectivity, but typically overlooked are business continuity, service support, service delivery, remediation, portability, compliance audits, and data destruction. Examples of cultural criteria define the type of partner and relationship enterprise IT prefers to have with the prospective service provider. Is your firm more comfortable with a hybrid carrier/colocation/cloud provider with a well-recognized brand and industry analyst recognition at the expense of a higher price tag and more bureaucracy? Or does your high-growth I&O team value agility and flexibility at the expense of brand recognition? How will your team integrate and at what tier in the architecture stack? Where is the line of demarcation between organizations? How much do you (really) need to own and control?




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Nuvalo Resources – White Paper: This report drills down into key IaaS provider selection criteria so you understand the technical underpinnings and strategic implications that can affect your business. It is intended to instill confidence in IT decision makers and purchasing managers so they can quickly answer basic questions about IaaS selection criteria.


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