When it comes to the cloud, should you go it alone?

If you're considering the public, private or hybrid cloud, it might make sense to consult one of the new breed of VARs or integrators focused on migration and deployment.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Here's a question that is certainly open to debate: Is there any such thing as a cloud integration or infrastructure expert? 

After all, many of the best practices involved in deploying, migrating and managing cloud services are still evolving and emerging. Maybe the better question is: who has at least some experience, and not just with one company?

The answer might lie with an emerging breed of IT services companies, VARs and integrators that are focusing on helping businesses of all sizes deploy next-generation IT infrastructure in public, private and hybrid clouds. 

The mission of this new blog is to help find and identify the ones doing the most groundbreaking and practical work.

Some of the names might be familiar. Most of the enterprise integration companies—especially the vendor-connected services arms for IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, EMC and Dell—are building extensive practices around cloud infrastructure and services. So are many of the notable independent ones, such as Dimension Data, CDW, Insight Enterprises or World Wide Technology.

There's also an entirely new breed of partners emerging, such as Cloud Sherpas, which has helped more than 5,000 companies deploy cloud services and applications from the likes of Google, Salesforce.com and other providers.

Or there's BlueWolf, which has been integrating and consulting around software delivered as a service for more than 12 years after getting its start with Salesforce.com.

Maybe you've heard of Appirio, another ambitious cloud consultancy?

And did you know that Amazon Web Services has designated 15 VARs and IT consulting as its elite Premier Consulting Partners?

These are the sorts of organizations you'll read about here: next-generation IT services partners that could be helpful in shaping and implementing your organization's cloud strategy. 

Among the sorts of things that will be addressed are cloud transformation and migration initiatives, with an eye toward featuring specific case studies where possible; cloud services and transformation news, services and offerings from this partner community; and profiles/features about members of this ecosystem that are especially successful or noteworthy.

If you've got ideas for topics you'd like to see covered or organizations you'd like profiled, please weigh in here with the comments or email me directly via the ZDNet contact link.

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