Cloud MSP Magic Quadrant: Again And Again!
Yet again, Cloudreach has been named in Gartner's MSP Magic Quadrant! In this post, Andre Azevedo, CMO and Head of Corporate Development, reflects on the announcement and offers his thoughts on the reports 'revamped' criteria.
When I wrote these lines in 2017, I was proud of our achievements, and the recognition gained by such a prestigious industry analyst. Two years on, my sense of pride and privilege to be part of this incredible team hasn’t waned one bit. Quite the contrary, our achievements continue to outperform all of our initial expectations (but that’s for another blog post). Today, I come back to the revamped Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services, where we get another outstanding recognition.
I use the term "revamped" in a purposeful way, since Gartner has evolved the criteria and services covered in this year’s Magic Quadrant. Firstly, it now includes Professional Services as well as Managed Services. This is a logical and welcome addition, given that most organisations will need as much help to move to, or transform their business using, cloud technologies, as they’ll need to manage it once there. Secondly, there was some change in the criteria for completeness of vision (more about this below).
"Our capability to deliver on our promises and provide customers with an excellent experience is recognised as one of the highest amongst a very strong set of players."
What is our view on the Magic Quadrant?
Gartner has a collaborative approach in this process and has provided us with detailed feedback on the results. Below is our view of the main changes, as I know the reader will inevitably draw parallels with previous iterations of the Magic Quadrant.
Most importantly, we moved up considerably in our "ability to execute", which is what our customers care about. Our capability to deliver on our promises and provide them with an excellent experience is recognised as one of the highest amongst a very strong set of players.
The other "shift" happened on "completeness of vision". It is in this area of the Quadrant that we have noticed significant changes. At its most basic, Gartner has adjusted its market viewpoint, and its criteria now covers two new elements, which are fundamentally different:
- Hybrid Cloud offering. Gartner believes that to achieve completeness of vision you need to offer services for on-premise IT and private cloud (which is the same thing, if you ask me).
- Number of "Clouds" offered. These are the six CSPs Gartner believes service providers should cover to achieve full marks under that topic: AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, Oracle and IBM.
Our view on 1. - Cloudreach is proud of its cloud-native status and Gartner does not consider our strategy to be wrong. Just that they believe customers may want those capabilities, yet acknowledging it’s a transient state. We somewhat disagree, but there’s more about this below.
Our view on 2. - We are a top-tier certified MSP with the three key providers in the market (AWS, Azure and GCP - the ones Gartner considers leaders in the CSP space) and have started our partnership and first engagements with Alibaba. Expanding to Oracle or IBM is not in our roadmap currently, and we cannot see how those platforms would support our customers, given their current limited capability, scalability and adoption rate.
You will also notice that a few cloud-native players were dropped from the MQ altogether, which is likely related to point 2 above.
In summary, we believe we have the right strategy across those two points (and beyond) and will proudly sit wherever that places us. Gartner has, on several occasions, validated that we are on the right path by being cloud-native. As did IDC in its latest (non-paid) report about Cloudreach -The Rise of Cloudreach: Challenging the Status Quo of IT Service Delivery.
What are we doing about the cautions in the document?
Pricing too complex. We have to accept that our Cloud Operations pricing structure, although mathematically robust, wasn’t as customer friendly as we want it to be. Our Products and Operations teams have been working, together with Marketing and Pricing Analysts on a simplified number of packages and pricing for Managed Services in general.
- Rapid growth. Gartner recognises that we are a larger organisation now with a wider set of skills and global reach since the Relus acquisition. Although this is seen as a strength, they also advise that there is a risk of decreased levels of service and customer satisfaction linked to rapid growth. We want to grow, and grow fast, but we also want to acknowledge the risks. So we continue to work on mitigation activities, most of which include building scalable processes and tools. To cite a few examples, we have been implementing highly scalable processes around people and career development (essential to talent retention) as well as sales and delivery excellence (key to excellent customer experience)
- Tooling improvement. Similarly to the above, this is a strength and a caution. Gartner actually endorses our Cloud Management Platform (CMP) roadmap - calls it adequate - and our ambitions in this space. We just need to continue to follow our existing policies for mitigating the risks of how a change to the CMP, or any change for that matter, could impact our customers. But again, who wants older tooling? We all should strive to continuously improve, right?
- Hybrid and Private Cloud. Although not called out as a caution, we acknowledge this is something that requires thought. We firmly believe that cloud is the future and hybrid is just a transient state. While we continue to recommend customers move to the cloud by default, we are building strong partnerships with organisations that can help in that space, should the need arise. Our strategic alliance with T-Systems is one example and we may add a few others in the future to cover different geographies.
At Cloudreach, we continue to be immensely proud of the company we’re building and the strategy we’ve chosen to follow. We enable incredible outcomes for all our collaborators, whether they’re employees, customers or partners. It’s good to know that industry authorities like Gartner validate it with this great recognition - for the third year in a row!