As an IT professional working with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and/or Google Cloud Platform, you’ve most likely seen the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant on “Hyperscale Public Cloud MSP's”. The analyst firm reviewed the global leaders in the Public Cloud Management space and listed them according to size, customers, service quality and scope, and global reach.
Nordcloud has been recognised in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers (MSP), a global worldwide quadrant that's the first of its kind. The Magic Quadrant positioned Nordcloud in the top right as one of the leaders of the Niche player quadrant in ability to execute and completeness of vision. For a company of our size, despite growing in double and even triple digit figures year-on-year, it is a significant milestone and achievement. It also confirms to all parties (us, our partners, and customers), that the strategy we've firmly set - becoming Europe's #1 Managed Services provider for hyper-scale clouds - is being efficiently executed.
Below, I'll talk you through the topic, aiming to explain how the Gartner study should be interpreted for maximum value and insight (rather than just staring at the blue dots on the grid, and jumping to quick conclusions based on that alone).
Our Gartner experience
We went through the Gartner MQ process for the first time in the history of our company (it was also the first Magic Quadrant of its kind in being a genuinely global study for Hyperscale MSP's) and therefore weren’t sure what to expect when the results finally came in.
Our first assumptions and expectations were that this study would be geared towards the largest global outsourcing companies, (ones that operate in the mode-1 styled controlled, regulated, and often not-so agile or Devopsified manner). Alternatively, it would be a review on how many of these incumbents have been able to add support for the Cloud-Native ways of working and supporting business critical workloads. In other words, your mode 2 of the bi-modal IT outsourcing landscape - Nordcloud's sweet spot. It turned out it wasn't either, but a very objective take of the leading players managing virtually any type of workloads in the public hyperscale clouds.
The Quadrant was comprised of some of the largest MSPs worldwide, whose service portfolios included stand-alone hyperscale public cloud managed services - making the heterogeneity of the Quadrants' participants explicitly large. These were pure-play outsourcing companies, (public) cloud-only companies, integrators, and consulting companies. Overall, the emphasis was on companies with global business focus and headcount in the range of a thousand plus.
The up- and downsides of being “only” Europe-based
Part of the criteria for the Quadrant was whether the Hyperscale Cloud MSP's had a global reach. In Nordcloud's case, it is our long-term strategy to be the number one in Europe (and Europe only) in what we do.
As a purely European based MSP, we are focusing on customers having offices in Europe. This is a strategy and service quality driven decision. We are operating our managed services solely out of the European Union countries also. That is an aspect of our Managed Cloud (our brand name for our Managed Services) service delivery that we are explicitly proud of, as it offers a handful of often undervalued benefits to our customers:
- Reputation/Trust: Our customers can cross-check the reputation of our offering in their local market, by their local peers, working in the same industry. Word gets around, and when it's a good one, our key customers our nowadays the key players in our sales efforts and strategy via direct referrals.
- Delivery: by having highly qualified resources rather than globally disperse multi-regional follow-the-sun operations teams that suffer from ever-repeating frictions due to e.g. cultural differences and often result in service quality issues. It's our experience that our customers don’t want to bet their service quality in the hands of offshored critical emergency support phone service, to save some OPEX.
Of course, we are well aware that not having a local presence in the Americas or the APAC region makes us appear less strong than the other MSP players. However, our focus is Europe, and thanks to this strategic decision, we do not want to compromise on our local presence. This, we hope, will make us more “local”, personal, and engaged with our customers who mean alot to us. Without them, there would be no Nordcloud and we recognise and value this fact.
We seek customers with whom we can be strategic partners in their public cloud journey, rather than serialise the business. With Nordcloud, you will always be guaranteed to not only know us in person, but in your own country too.
Ranking depends on the selected Criteria
Ranking of any sort depends 100% on the used criteria. What we noticed with this particular Gartner review was, we were ranked against some businesses that weren't, nor will be, the core of what we have chosen to do. These businesses had laser focus on:
- Supporting hybrid offering
- Having global reach.
We don’t run data centers, we don’t manage hybrid infrastructure, nor do we have offices on all continents of the globe. Our expertise lies in the Public Cloud, a strategic choice to maximise our excellence in a specialised yet expansive market. This grants assurance to our customers that we've no hidden agenda due to e.g. a legacy data center business.
It resonates well, too. The pace of winning new customers across Europe has never been this fast for us. Customers of all sizes and industries have public cloud on their core ICT strategy agenda and are selecting us to be the strategic partner for their successful cloud journeys. Therefore we're on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for *global* hyperscale MSP for a good reason - hybrid and data center providers included - imagine that!
Some of the other metrics, where we might have lost positions towards the upper right corner, were managing regulated workloads and having a dedicated DBA experts offering 24/7. Seeing this criteria was an excellent assurance for us. Gartner's view was that these are the things that a true leader in this domain must offer. What's more, we've recently ramped up an R&D Center and are focusing exactly on such services and their launch by the end of the year.
Customer First approach
Ultimately, any business’ success is based on the simple fact of how good their value proposition is, for their customers and market segment. It's also how well they understand and solve the problems and needs of their customers.
Our strategic choice on our business focus remains; to be the undisputed #1 hyperscale public cloud MSP when it comes to customer satisfaction. We acknowledge this down to the core of our own corporate values (we call it the CODE), where the customer is at the center of everything. As the saying goes: “Do good, and talk about it.” We promise to keep doing good (from customer perspective) and to continuously improve, now also having systematic processes for doing so and being able to measure it.
Consulting and MSP: a people business
When looking at customer satisfaction, we increasingly learn that what actually matters is not just our services. It is the people behind it and around it. Our people - our experts.
How can you be happy with a service, if your service delivery and communications is only in your sales deck? Would you trust someone who delays a deliverable for more than three times in a row, although he works for a leading MSP? Or someone who tells you what service level/package you need rather than letting you decide the scope based on your particular needs? I doubt it. That's why we always do our very best to keep our people skilled, motivated, and customer centric, rather than relying on processes and tooling alone.
If you’re a corporate, no matter how big or small, with regulated or non-regulated workloads, and are planning on moving into (or are already in!) the public cloud, I recommend you take a look at our offering. If we're local to you, have a look at our MSP function and how we could help you accomplish your strategic goals for the public cloud.
Sometimes the picture doesn't tell the whole story, but rather, the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. Keep watching our exciting journey to be the #1 in Europe, and thank you for all your continued to support. We can't wait to see how our strategy execution progresses this year - stay tuned!