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In the cloud computing era, it's clear: managed services providers hold a critically important position.
Many firms jumped on the cloud computing bandwagon on their own and came to the painful realization they need a little help. It usually came after the first month’s bill arrived, when they found out just how much compute, storage and bandwidth costs really are.
RKON Technologies, a managed services provider, recently issued a study that found half of all companies that moved to the cloud wanted to do it over again and do it differently. One of the takeaways is that companies are making the move in almost complete ignorance of what they are getting into. They are truly ignorant of what the cloud entails.
This is where a managed services provider comes in. If you are thinking strategically, not just about cutting costs but about fully embracing and maximizing the cloud to your company’s benefit, you need the outside expertise of a managed services provider (MSP).
A good MSP will provide strategic guidance to help navigate the tricky menu of services so you don’t get a surprise when the bill comes due, tell you what can, can’t, should and shouldn’t go into the cloud, and help you continue to expand your services after the initial adoption.
According to a forecast from Markets and Markets, the global managed services market will grow from $138.27 billion (US) in 2016 to $257.84 billion in 2022, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.1%. So this is a growing market, and a necessary one.
The following list contains some of the more notable cloud MSPs. Time and space does not permit us to limit every one of them but we tried to be as thorough as possible. The list is alphabetical and in no order of preference.
Managed Cloud Services Providers
The largest tech services firm in the world with 33,000 cloud services professionals, Accenture offers AWS and Azure consulting services. Through AWS it offers a centralized dashboard and management control plane for full management and automation of cloud solutions. For Azure, it has a joint venture with Microsoft called Avenade to handle Azure needs.
Already the largest provider of consulting services to the federal government, Booz Allen Hamilton enhanced its government services with the January 2017 acquisition of Aquilent, a specialty firm that provides cloud, Web and mobile solutions to the federal government. Aquilent provides cloud computing, mobile and digital strategy, Web content management, and other services along with BAH’s agile and DevOps support.
Cloudticity is a dedicated health care services provider that designs, builds, manages, and hosts HIPAA-compliant applications on AWS. Cloudticity solutions include patient portals, health information exchanges, mobile health engagement platforms, telemedicine solutions, Big Data analytics and more. It holds records of more than 100 million patients all while maintaining full HIPAA compliance for privacy.
Cloudnexa is pure cloud play, offering on-premises migration to AWS, specializing in managed services for environments requiring governance or compliance such as PCI or HIPAA. It migrates applications from SharePoint, mobile, ERP, CRM and custom applications to the cloud and offers a single, consolidated dashboard view for management of the entire cloud environment.
A spin-off from Dun & Bradstreet, Cognizant merges social, mobile, analytics and cloud into one integrated stack called SMAC, where each function enables another for maximum effect. Cognizant is partnered with AWS to offer SMAC-enabled services, including transformation services, application services, MDM on Demand, MDM on Cloud and more for what it calls the Future of Process Work.
Connectria Hosting provides cloud computing, managed hosting and custom managed hosting solutions for more than 1,000 customers in over 30 countries. Its “No Jerks Allowed” company philosophy sounds comical but at its core it means providing superior levels of uptime, availability and performance; securing customer data through its 100% secure guarantees; flexibility, hosting a range of technologies and providing a high level of customized services; and integrity, keeping its promises and doing what’s right for the customer.
One of the first AWS certified MSPs and consulting partners, it offers 24/7 support, monitoring, crisis response & resolution and AWS Direct Connect Solutions. Datapipe also offers colocation and hosted managed services. It has been designing and managing AWS solutions since 2010.
Another government service provider, DLT Solutions has been around since 1991 and is an authorized Premier Consulting Partner for all AWS Regions, including the AWS GovCloud. DLT also supports many on-premises products, like Autodesk, NetApp, Oracle, Quest Software, and Red Hat.
IBM offers cloud services for its BlueMix cloud infrastructure, providing fully managed, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-compliant solution for mission-critical workloads. Mission critical apps can be developed and deployed on IBM apps as well as SAP and Oracle.
ICF International provides professional services and technology solutions to Fortune 500 customers and government agencies alike and has more than 5,000 consultants in 65 offices worldwide. Cloud services include cloud readiness assessment, TCO review, cloud migration strategy & architecture design, managed hosting services, cloud managed hosting and more. Its services are focused on four markets: energy and climate change; environment and infrastructure; health, human services and social programs, and homeland security and defense.
Infosys is one of the giants of consulting, a $7 billion firm with 150,000 employees. It offers strategic consulting, operational leadership and development of IT solutions across the cloud, covering both AWS and Azure and also serving on-premises products like Oracle and Microsoft. Cloud services include public and private cloud implementation, cloud integration services, workload migration services, application development and cloud assurances.
Rackspace provides hybrid cloud services via AWS and its own hosting service. Rackspace’s engineers deliver specialized expertise for OpenStack, Microsoft, VMware, and others through a service known as Fanatical Support, a customer-specific support system which is offered for free to all customers. Its services include Cloud Files, a file hosting service; Cloud Servers, virtualized servers running a variety of Linux distributions; Cloud Tools for application development; and Cloudkick, a cloud performance testing service.
With more than 4,000 technical certifications, 5,000 customers, and 32 offices nationwide, SCS is a sizable national player. It offers a wide variety of IT services, from hardware to on-premises software like Cognos, Rational, Tivoli, WebSphere, and Microsoft. It offers consulting for cloud assessment and migration, public and hybrid cloud migration, and DevOps and other development consulting services for building cloud and on-premises apps.
It offers consulting, implementing, managing and product sourcing of many IT services, not just cloud. For example, it offers enterprise-class Mac consulting, something not always seen in consultancies. Its services include TechChecks, Keystone, Office 365, Microsoft Azure and AWS management. Analytics are provided by a single dashboard highlighting all of a company’s offerings.
The only international company on this list, Bangelore-based Wipro is a giant firm with 131,000 employees and clients across 54 countries. The company is a Strategic Global Systems Integrator and provider of AWS and also provides services for Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle. It offers full SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS).