We recently spoke with Keith Coker, founder and CEO of Green Cloud Technologies, a provider of cloud services based in Greenville, South Carolina. While originally named for that city, Green Cloud also signifies the “green” it helps customers save as well as the environmental benefits of its highly efficient data centers.
Today Green Cloud offers a wide range of cloud services in myriad cloud disciplines and custom offerings that span everything from backup-as-a-service to security-as-service, desktop-as-service, and full infrastructure-as-a-service.
Unlike most providers, though, Green Cloud’s customers are Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Value-Added Resellers (VARs) that directly support small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Green Cloud has no direct sales organization.
“If you look at the MSPs and the VARs we serve, they know the SMBs they support intimately,” says Coker. “We allow them to maintain that focus and bring them expertise in the cloud based on having done thousands of migrations and cloud deployments. They can lean on us to be that consultant and expert that ensures their customers have an exceptional experience in their transition to the cloud. Essentially, we serve as our partners’ cloud department.”
Coker is quick to point out that many of the services Green Cloud provides make it possible for VARs and MSPs to offer cloud capabilities that are typically associated with large enterprises, but at an effective price point for smaller organizations.
“We enable our partners to benefit from cloud capabilities, expertise, and resources they typically wouldn’t invest in,” he adds. “It wouldn’t make sense for an MSP that does five or six cloud deployments a year to build the network we’ve created, let alone invest in the skills our engineers have acquired over the years. Our customers’ customers benefit from our focus on the cloud regardless of whether they’re working with us to plan for an initial migration or moving to a more complex, hybrid and multi-cloud approach.”
Cloud Verified: Why It Matters
Coker notes that all of Green Cloud’s services and data centers are VMware Cloud Verified.
“From the beginning we built our entire cloud infrastructure around VMware,” he says. “Being VMware Cloud Verified basically gives us the stamp of approval. It shows that what we have built is in line with VMware’s expectations. An MSP can trust that when they move their client over to us, it’s not just Green Cloud saying our infrastructure is truly solid, it’s VMware standing behind us as well.”
So what’s prompting SMBs to move to the cloud? Coker cites a number of reasons.
Many organizations come to Green Cloud through an MSP at a time of transition: for example, at the impending expiration of a hardware lease or to address the need for more compute power or storage capacity. Coker also sees many end users’ organizations turning to the cloud for compliance reasons.
“We work with numerous healthcare organizations, for example, and for many, handling the compliance requirements of any given office is difficult,” he says. “When that’s taken care of in a shared environment like the one we offer, it’s not only cost-effective, but it unburdens the SMB from all of the things they would need to be thinking about, such as encryption for laptops and countless other issues. That’s something we see in many of the markets we work in, including construction, manufacturing, and professional services.”
Coker also sees many partners embracing Green Cloud’s security-as-a-service offering to help their clients negate the threat of ransomware. He says that security is a significant concern for all companies, and that ransomware is often what prompts many SMBs to embrace the cloud. Not surprisingly, VARs are also now turning to the company for help as their customers move to remote working arrangements for their employees.
Coker believes it will only prompt more companies to move fully to the cloud.
“One thing we see often is that once an SMB experiences the benefits of a cloud service, it often prompts them to later embrace the benefits of infrastructure-as-a-service,” he says. “Once you’ve experienced the cost savings, convenience, and flexibility of the cloud, there’s no going back.”
Learn more about Green Cloud Technologies and its partnership with VMware here.