The best cloud integrators in the world have made these mistakes and lived to tell the tale. How do I know? Because I, a cloud integrator, have made every one of these and had to swallow humble pie to learn from them.
And unfortunately, both Marlon and I still see these mistakes being made today by other professionals in our industry.
Here’s the top 5 mistakes every cloud integrator makes:
- Rushing through the solution-finding process
- Not charging enough to provide the level of service needed
- Taking on too much work
- Not providing customised training or enough training
- Taking on jobs that are not suited to their expertise
Rushing through the solution-finding process
Finding the right cloud software solution for any business is not a responsibly to take lightly. As I shared in Mr. Accountant, here’s why you need to connect with a good cloud integrator, changing the systems on which you run your business on a day to day basis – whilst running the business – is not a simple task.
We receive complaints from our accounting partners all the time where they have experienced cloud integrators rushing through the scoping process, not taking the time to fully understand the business and just recommending solutions they know – because they are comfortable with implementing and training on that software – instead of ensuring that solution is the best fit for the business with thorough testing, demonstration and research.
Not charging enough to provide the level of service needed
Embarking on a new business venture is always a risky feat. Whether you are a seasoned professional or complete newbie, it’s often difficult to determine how long tasks within a cloud implementation project will take.
And it’s not just the implementation phase that takes time. Every client moving to the cloud needs to be prepared, trained and supported throughout the transition from an old business system to a new cloud-based software system.
At the beginning of our business, we didn’t factor in how much time it would take to provide the additional training and support to achieve a successful outcome for the client. Often times, we were left spreading ourselves too thin leading to other mistakes mentioned below.
When choosing a cloud integrator for your cloud implementations, don’t just go for the cheapest option. Do your research and ask questions. Make sure that your cloud integrator is going to provide you and/or your clients with the level of service they are going to need and should expect when investing the time and money to improve their business.
Taking on too much work
Every service business faces this challenge. It’s not unique to the cloud integration industry. When you are growing your business, it’s sometimes hard to say “No”, when work comes your way.
In our business, we learned to schedule our time in detail to determine what time commitments we have already at any time and what we can take on. We also improved our own efficiency by finding the right project management system of our business, Accelo.
Now, our clients know right from the outset that we will share with them when we can start their implementation and commit the resources required for their project. It’s outlined in the detailed timeline in our fixed price proposal – no surprises.
Not providing customised training or enough training
We’ve seen this issue time and time again – with both software companies that provide an online training library or with cloud integrators that have created their own online training library.
I get why they do it and I did it myself in the past. We are often training on the same things with different clients – week in and week out – so why not record the videos in a generic format and send them off to save time?
The reason not to do it is that new users need you to show them how to use the new cloud-based systems they will be using in their workflow. Their workflow and their business make sense to them. Not some demo company with widgets. This live and customised training time with an experienced expert in the new software is also a great opportunity to prepare all the team members of the business and settle any concerns and answer any additional questions they have.
Taking on jobs that are not suited to their expertise
Starting out as a cloud integrator is a tough gig. Not only do you have to learn new software to an expert level and improve your sales skills to successfully share the benefits of moving to the cloud with a potential client – so you actually have a business – you also have to work out how to successfully train, implement AND support every team member in a new business with this new software successfully from day one.
For the first 2 years of our business, Marlon and I focused on only working with businesses that needed inventory management add-ons to Xero. Then we learned QuickBooks Online which connects to the same inventory apps that connect to Xero.
By the end of year 2, we felt comfortable that we understood how to help businesses that needed inventory management to:
* find the right software solutions for our clients efficiently
* implement the major software solutions and all their functionality
* train to an expert level to any team member in any business
* support all the team members in a business from the warehouse to the business managers as required – to an expert level
With the skills in these areas becoming second nature to us and with systems in place to manage our implementation projects for inventory management software connected to Xero and QuickBooks Online, we chose to now become experts in project management, mobile job management, business management for the health and wellness industry and e-commerce, including Amazon.
Working with an experienced cloud integrator makes all the difference when moving a business into the cloud. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions when looking for a cloud integrator to partner with for your cloud implementation project. Book a free scope call with one of our solution architects and they will tell you how a solution will work for you and the limitations. It’s just as important that you know how it won’t work for you, as well as how it does, to make an informed decision on the right solution for your business. Book a free scope call today.