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UK Cloud Alliance LogoLast week I was excited to take part in the inaugural UK Cloud Alliance meeting at the Madejski Stadium in Reading and I'd love to give you an insight into this new group.

In any business there are opportunities that you come across that are right in your sweet spot. As you read the requirement, or meet the client for the first time they have a specific need that accurately fits your core portfolio. You can quickly get your proposal together and as long as you build a good relationship and the pricing is right there is no reason why you shouldn't win the business.

On the opposite side you have the deals that you will never win. The customer is asking for something you cannot provide. Perhaps a global tender when you only support UK clients, or a CRM solution when you only deliver web design. There is no point going after this business as it is not going to come off.

And there is a third option - the opportunities that closely fit your core portfolio but that also have requirements that you cannot fulfil. Perhaps it is some consultancy related to another area of their business, or some web design when you supply servers.

To answer this third area the UK Cloud Alliance was formed by Star - a leading cloud service provider with a focus on hosted infrastructure and productivity solutions. Star recognised that in 15% of their opportunities (and those tended to be the largest ones) clients had a broader requirement than their core portfolio.

Star could either avoid asking the right questions "How are you going to implement this?" or "What effect will this have on your contact centre?" or they could come up with a solution for their clients.

Rather than investing in an ever expanding product range they have founded the UK Cloud Alliance - a network of 16 complementary businesses that can be brought in to provide depth and breadth to any of the other's portfolios.

The idea is not that each member resells the other's services, or even that they have a deep understanding of each other's products - but that they can ask the right questions of a client, to help them solve their end to end business problem and not just focus on their area of expertise.

Members come from a range of industries

From NewVoiceMedia's perspective we are really excited to be part of this journey. We are very specific about what we do, and what we don't do. We provide cloud contact centre solutions. If clients want phone systems, or headsets, or CRM systems to integrate with, or consultancy around their IT infrastructure then that is outside of our portfolio.

Through the UK Cloud Alliance we can confidently ask the difficult questions during a sales process, knowing that if we uncover wider business process issues we have 15 complementary businesses that we can introduce to our clients if needed.

I'd encourage you to take a look at the UK Cloud Alliance website and I will be featuring some of the members in our Partner Focus series in the coming months.

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About Charlie Cowan

Charlie is passionate about cloud computing and how it can help real businesses to run more profitably.

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