Cloud MSP Magic Quadrant – Life in the top right
Top Right. There it was, right before my eyes. Proudness, excitement and relief. All felt at the same time when I first opened the Hyperscale MSP Magic Quadrant preview sent by Gartner. At Cloudreach it was our first experience entering such a process and we had no idea where we stood until the results came back.
I was never in doubt about our ability and expertise as one of the leading organisations in this space. We are the only cloud-native organisation with multi-continent operations capabilities (Ops centres in UK and Canada) for both AWS and Azure. And we have worked with hundreds of customers supporting their cloud journey. The list goes on, but this is not a promotional piece of text. What I didn’t know is how an organisation like Gartner would view us given our uniqueness and innovative thinking when delivering our services.
So, why did we enter it?
Why wouldn’t we? We were invited by Gartner to take part, which is an honour in itself as they recognise us as a significant player in this space. Secondly, this was "right up our street". What was being evaluated is exactly what we do. Never before had I seen a Magic Quadrant we could have entered, but this one fit like a glove. And lastly, we are nothing without customer and market recognition as leaders and innovators. If we didn’t make it to that top right corner we should work on getting there, by working on improving customer experience and market alignment alike.
There’s a bit of cynicism about Magic Quadrants. What’s my view?
It’s no secret that there is a bit of cynicism or even major upset about Magic Quadrants. The same is true about all analyst research. Some people think it’s biased based on strong relationships or that there is a "pay-to-play" model. Although I can’t know this for certain, I have no reason to believe that it applied to us, as we don’t fall into either of those categories.
A Magic Quadrant will always be a mixture of objectiveness – market presence, breadth of offering, etc – and subjectiveness – Gartner’s opinion as the market experts. But one thing is for certain, Gartner are incredibly thorough. We were asked to share proposals, order forms, delivery documents, sales and marketing strategy, the list is endless. On top of that, a significant list of our customers were surveyed independently.
After being through it, my personal view is that this is a well thought-out process and one that requires a huge amount of effort not only from the applicant but also from Gartner. We have taken part in other analyst’s research, who have produced significant reports based on a 1-hour call with us. The Gartner process takes weeks and involves an excruciating level of detail. So whether you agree or disagree with its conclusions, the sheer thoroughness lends the Magic Quadrant some solid credibility.
Are we happy with it?
Did I mention we’re in the top right? In all seriousness, I’m particularly happy that both Gartner and our customers, who were extensively surveyed, recognise us as leaders in what we do. As an organisation we have always prided ourselves in very high standards in terms of delivery and sales materials, legal framework, documented processes and strategy. This clearly pays off when you go through any external "audit", so I’m quite pleased with the fact that we can confidently continue doing what we do in this area.
It’s also great for our customers who get yet another reassurance that they have chosen the right partner to help them with their cloud adoption journey. It also gives an incentive to keep up the good work, so we move up and right at the next version of this Magic Quadrant.
One thing to note is that although the Magic Quadrant specifically refers to Cloud MSPs, this exercise covers much more than that. Great part of the documentation and use cases involve cloud governance, security, build, configuration and, of course, managed services. This means that Gartner recognises these organisations in more areas than just our 24/7 operational services.
Also, based on the information available to them, most of Gartner’s assertions about Cloudreach (strengths and cautions) are broadly fair. Interestingly, we have the highest score in "ability to execute" amongst all entrants. This should mean that we’re the most capable pair of hands to address our customers’ needs.
Since being through the Magic Quadrant exercise, we announced that Blackstone acquired a majority stake in Cloudreach. This will bring us additional scale capabilities (my thoughts in another blog post). If you read through the "cautions" section in the report, you will find that this investment partnership is broadly aimed at addressing those.
With the backing of one of the world’s largest investment firms we will build upon current success to broaden the vision and deepen our strengths. So, I’m feeling pretty bullish that we will become the undisputed leader in years to come. Further up and to the right!