There is great value in cloud technology for startups, but having a dedicated skilled Cloud Platform Team often isn’t financially viable until they become scale-ups. The past years we’ve been involved with many product-based startups and their cloud journeys. Some of these startups migrated to cloud setups using our Cloud Kickstart, while other companies were already using cloud setups but struggled with knowledge gaps or performance issues.
The past few months we’ve taken some time to not just look at the value we added to these clients, but more importantly, look at what we can learn from our engagements and improve our offerings. When looking at the startups, we felt an improved offering would have to achieve a couple of objectives:
- Financially Sustainable: we need to offer real value to these clients, but with a cost structure that isn’t going to put them out of business.
- Build Up Your Client: we want our clients to get better at building and running cloud platforms, all the way to the point where they actually don’t need our help anymore.
- Don’t Be A Dependency: it’s essential that our clients can operate without us. We should not be in their critical path or be the single source of critical knowledge/skill. Similarly we shouldn’t work with just a single engineer/developer on the client side.
- Safety Net: running cloud setups can be scary, especially if you’re learning-on-the-job. Having a safety net makes the challenge a little easier.
- Make It Personal: every client should have a primary contact person.
Introducing Cloud Coach
Today we are officially launching our new Cloud Coach service. This service is aimed at product-based startups who either already have cloud setups or are going to migrate using our Cloud Kickstart service. With Cloud Coach, we help companies leverage cloud technology effectively by being involved advisors and sparring partners. We help them make the right decisions, gather the right skills, and build the right things the right way; all while also offering a safety net should things go wrong.
So how does it work?
The key ingredient to Cloud Coach is a hands-off approach to coaching. While most of our consulting projects with larger companies are very hands-on, and most likely delivers the best results in the fastest possible way, it does come with a price tag that is out of reach for most startups. For startup companies, this form of ‘outsourcing work’ would also immediately make Skyworkz a dependency. We don’t want that, so we need to come up with a approach: hands-off coaching.
With hands-off coaching the objective is to develop the knowledge and skill within the client by offering guidance, training, and sparring so they can develop and operate their own cloud setups. By working with a team of client engineers we can make build a solid foundation of cloud knowledge and prevent the often-found ‘Developer that does all the DevOps’ situation. Hands-off doesn’t mean we never do any engineering, though. We’re more than happy to pair with client engineers on technical challenges.
Adding a Safety Net
Getting into cloud technology, or infrastructure topics, can be a little scary. Being operationally responsible for your employer’s cloud platform: even worse. Some might say it ‘comes with the territory’ of working at a startup, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. So in order to make it less scary, our Cloud Coach service comes with a safety net in the form of a dedicated Slack Support channel for each client, that is shared between the client’s engineers and a team of Skyworkz specialists.
This makes it easy and convenient to reach out for a quick question, but also means we have your back should your latest deployment take down your entire platform. Just ping us and we will work through the issue with you.
We don’t believe in sending a different random engineer to help you every time, even if you’re ‘just a small startup’. Every Cloud Coach client gets a dedicated Cloud Consultant, and they will have an Expert Squad to back them up or to join in when specific expertise is required. Those same people will monitor your Slack Support channel. Familiar faces, who know your people and your setup.
Getting Your Personal Coach
If you think Cloud Coach might be a good fit for your company, or if you want to discuss a move to the cloud, please fill in our short questionnaire and we’ll reach out to you. Coffee is on us!