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Regular readers on the blog will know that NewVoiceMedia is an active member of the UK Cloud Alliance. Formed by Star in 2011 the UK Cloud Alliance brings together 16 complementary technology businesses to offer an extremely broad portfolio of cloud related services.

UK Cloud Alliance LogoMany of the 16 members are focused on the mid-market of 100 employee businesses and above, but do not have the breadth and depth of portfolio to pick up entire projects from this type of customer.

At NewVoiceMedia we recognise that cloud contact centres are one small part of an often larger project, including phone systems, LAN refreshes, database implementations and MPLS roll-outs. For us the power of the UK Cloud Alliance lies in having pre-built relationships with complementary businesses that we can introduce, and vice-versa.

Yesterday saw the third meeting of all 16 members in Warwick. It was fantastic to see that the power of networking and repeat meetings is starting to build up strong relationships that our customers can now benefit from. In the first meeting we had a collection of 16 individual businesses thinking about what was in it for them. Now we have a unified Alliance that is uncovering how the sum is greater than the parts.

Grant Tanner, Business Development Director at Star has driven the foundation of the UK Cloud Alliance and reiterated the reasons behind it, “There is a lot of unstructured demand in the market. Customers recognise that cloud is the way to go but have limited places to go to get a full solution. The UK Cloud Alliance is not a reseller, but a collective of complementary businesses that understand how to put that solution together for a customer.”

The purpose of yesterday’s meet up was to start to look at vertical solutions that the Alliance can pull together. Members were able to sit in two sessions, and we chose Retail and Professional Services.

Retail is a vertical that lends itself to cloud. A large distributed network of branches that have traditionally had poor IT resource compared to the head-office due to the cost of multi-site roll-outs. The move to cloud means that with a decent internet connection every store can have access to all systems – from CRM, HR applications, they can be part of the contact centre receiving calls from local customers, as well as implementing neat wi-fi solutions to allow customers to check prices and product details in-store.

Professional Services has many of the same issues around remote workers – working from home, branch offices, or customer’s offices. Critical to the success of a professional services firm is keeping fee earners on fee earning work as much as possible, and cloud can help here by giving them all the tools they need wherever they are.

The UK Cloud Alliance will be taking our learning from these vertical sessions and pulling together industry specific documents that give an idea of the full capability of the 16 members and what a complete solution might look like. This should make it easier for potential customers to see the value of the Alliance and how we’re working together to help businesses achieve their strategic goals.

Are you aware of the UK Cloud Alliance? How would you like to see the UK Cloud Alliance function to better support you in your procurement needs? We’d love to hear your comments and questions in the section below.

For more information on the Alliance and its members visit the UK Cloud Alliance website.

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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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