Inside the mind of a cloud consultant with Appirio

What does the cloud consultancy look like and how does it differ from the on-premise world. It has huge implications for implementation methods and cost.

Earlier today I caught up with Narinder Singh, co-founder Appirio and a great sounding board for cloud consulting and implementation topics.

As background, Appirio has around 500 consultants and an ecosystem of around 42,000 developers on Cloudspokes. The company recently raised $60 million in its bid to become a one stop cloud integration and implementation shop.

The Skype recording from Narinder's end isn't that great (I have poor bandwidth, he was on hotel wifi) but the sound is fine.

This video is a prequel to a video conversation I shall be recording between Jon Reed and myself tomorrow evening (7pm CET. 6pm GMT, 1pm ET, 10am PT.) I want to put Jon on the spot to discuss what needs to happen and especially around the skillset and change management required. Both of us are very familiar with the SAP ecosystem as an example but this is not just about that company. The same challenges are going to hold true for other players like Oracle which is set to announce its public cloud offerings on 6th June. I wonder what they will have to say about this topic?

The reason I called up Narinder is because I have a sneaking feeling that traditional SIs don't really get this cloud stuff whereas I know his company has been successfully evolving this model for some years. In calls and meetings I've had with consultants coming from the on-premise world I can almost hear the brain cells churning at the thought: 'Where's my future revenue stream?' as a top of mind question.

Here's the bad news: in the cloud world, those 12-18-24 month implementations are gone - forever.

Here's the good news: you get to work on really cool things, learn, increment and add value to customers at a rate that far exceeds anything you've seen or done in the past. Oh yes - and there is real demand for the skills you must have to operate in this world. If you 'get it' then you might make more money but you'll be working very differently.

Here's the summary of questions I asked Narinder:

  1. What does it take to make the transition from on-premise to cloud consulting/implementation successful?
  2. What do you say to those who know the need for transition?
  3. How has the cloud changed the way you approach individual business implementations?
  4. What kind of talent do you need to attract to build a successful practice?

If you want to hear the answers then you'll have to watch the whole 8min 27 seconds call.

If you'd like to ask questions while Jon and I are recording the show then tweet questions using hashtag #cloudswerve.