How Do You Choose The Right Cloud Provider?

Erica Lailhacar

Data, analytics, and insights are the DNA of the modern intelligent enterprise, the building blocks of life in the digital world. In today’s experience economy, the ability to exploit these information resources to consistently meet and exceed customer expectations is not just a driver of business success; it has become a fundamental of business survival.

Customers everywhere are looking for an intuitive, real-time, always-on user experience on any device, anytime, anywhere. If they’re not happy, they’ll vote with their feet and go someplace else. For businesses of every shape and size, the importance of differentiation and innovation is growing at an exponential rate, and data and analytics is the main battleground.

That means building data-driven applications supercharged with the power of next-generation analytics that can learn, predict, and visualize business outcomes. The velocity of the market dictates they need to innovate at high speed with low risk and cost, and the cloud is the only viable development environment.

This creates enormous potential for independent software vendors (ISVs) who can figure out how best to deliver this experience. To explore the opportunities and challenges in more detail, IDC surveyed 350 ISVs from North America, the United Kingdom, and Japan that offer – or are planning to offer – cloud-native, analytics-infused solutions and services to their customers.

The key decision they need to make is whether to build these applications themselves or partner with an established cloud analytics provider. In this final blog in the series, we look at the relative merits of the partnership approach, offer some key considerations for ISVs when making their choice, and share some essential guidance from IDC.

Why ISVs should buy rather than build

Customers often turn to ISVs to provide the value-added services or solutions they are not able to build themselves. The same logic applies to ISVs seeking a suitable cloud analytics vendor.

The market-leading analytics platforms have powerful capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies built-in. Using existing API sets, ISVs can embed cloud analytics or extend and modernize their applications with cloud analytics to create new opportunities for differentiation and growth.

While there are a few advantages to building an analytics offering from scratch – such as lower costs of using open source technologies – these are often outweighed by the disadvantages of hidden costs, a longer implementation, and issues of scalability and support.

ISVs that opt to partner with an analytics provider can focus on their core business while leveraging the expertise of an established global software provider. The benefits of partnerships include:

  • Using prebuilt integrations with related infrastructure from the same vendor
  • Accessing technical support, training, and implementation resources
  • Leveraging the vendor’s ongoing investment in product innovations, easily accessible through the cloud
  • Fostering a close working relationship to create cross-sell and upsell opportunities
  • Undertaking joint go-to-market efforts to increase ISV market reach
  • Exploiting the vendor brand to expand into other markets and geographies

Six questions to ask your analytics cloud provider

Here are six things to consider when choosing your analytics partner:

  • Does the software meet a majority of requirements for my use case?
  • Does my use case have any unique requirements (such as ultrahigh transactional volume, near-real-time integration with other systems, or the Internet of Things)?
  • Can I find trained resources to help with my implementation and ongoing support?
  • Do I have any technology dependencies on other infrastructure elements?
  • Can the software provider scale with my growth?
  • What is the total cost of ownership of the analytics solution?

Once you’ve made your choice, you should be able to look forward to a long and fruitful partnership. As one of the ISV executives interviewed by IDC says, “We wanted to grow our business in a new geographic market where we had no infrastructure. SAP had already built cloud infrastructure in these new regions and was hosting SAP Analytics Cloud, so we were able to easily build our solution on SAP Analytics Cloud.”

For more IDC research insights, download Critical Factors and Trends in Analytics for Independent Software Vendors,” an IDC e-book sponsored by SAP.

To learn about the opportunities for partnering with SAP to design, integrate, and commercialize applications with advanced analytics capabilities, please visit the Web site for SAP PartnerEdge – Build.


Erica Lailhacar

About Erica Lailhacar

Erica Lailhacar is analytics go-to-market strategy lead for SAP Global Channels and Platform.