An Interview with Scott Riley
In this episode, I’m joined by Scott Riley, founder of Cloud Nexus, a cloud solution provider. They’re a UK-based consultancy that provides advice and strategy on technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses. Scott has been in the MSP space for over 20 years and brings his commitment to IT companies of all sizes to Cloud Nexus.
What is a Cloud Solution Provider?
Scott set up Cloud Nexus as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) in September 2019 with the intention of offering a solution that combined the passion for technology and solving customer challenges.
This is delivered by using Office 365 and Azure, hosting everything on those platforms.
Therefore, Scott says that having such a niche focus allows him and the team to deliver exceptional service.
They help their clients to make the most of Office 365 from both a technical and operational perspective. And they help with onboarding, security assessments and making sure people are protected.
Because the business was just starting to grow when the pandemic hit, Cloud Nexus initially focused on helping people make a rapid shift from on-premise to cloud.
This was a priority for businesses whose staff had to work from home. However, they’re now reviewing all their clients’ systems and doubling down on security and device management.
The Cloud Nexus Sales Process
Scott explains that the business doesn’t use salespeople. Early on he invested in both LinkedIn lead generator programmes and Facebook advertising and got no results from either. Scott says these felt inauthentic and people didn’t respond well to that.
He adds that they also don’t do outbound sales because he doesn’t want potential clients to jump through hoops to get an answer: “I’ve been in those large MSPs where there are tiers of people before you get to the person who actually knows what they’re talking about”.
Instead, Cloud Nexus are keen to ensure that anyone who makes an enquiry knows that they’re speaking to the person who can solve their problem.
So they listen, empathise with the other person and then craft a tailored solution. And they explain each stage of the journey.
Not sure what a cloud solution is? This blog might help.
The Biggest Mistakes MSPs Make
Scott identified two mistakes that he often sees MSPs make. The first is by putting profits before customers.
For instance, rather than offering a client a solution from a big vendor, providing their own version instead.
Doing so increases their profit margin but it’s a short-term reward. Because the client will soon realise that they could use the vendor’s version for cheaper. And it ultimately damages the customer relationship.
The other mistake is not keeping up with the pace of change and doing things the way they’ve always been done. Scott has done this with his own Cloud Solution Provider business, and suggests that MSPs should be checking in with clients regularly to make sure they’re delivering the best service.
Why MSPs Should Give Free Advice
Scott says there’s enough opportunity and enough customers for every MSP business. Therefore, there’s no need to be secretive about what you do.
Therefore, at Cloud Nexus, they give advice and guidance as a Cloud Solution Provider whenever they can. They create content about their own best practices and talk through how they use Microsoft Office 365 and Azure.
If you do this, there are three possible outcomes: someone takes the information and implements it; a customer sees that you know more than they do and asks you to implement it for them, Or, the potential client does nothing with the information.
It’s all about showing people that you know what you’re talking about and you’re the expert. It builds up know, like and trust and makes them feel confident about doing business with you.
When A Cloud Solution is not a Good Fit
For almost all businesses, a cloud solution is a great idea. But Scott admits that there are a couple of instances where it’s better to stick to on-premise storage instead.
For example anyone dealing with large amounts of graphic files, photos or other digital media won’t benefit from a cloud solution.
So that needs to be as close to the processing point as possible. So, Scott says it’s not practical to store these files in the cloud and then try to edit them. And the same applies for CAD drawings.
On the other hand, Scott says that it’s still wise to have a cloud solution as well, to provide backup.
And the other example is anyone working in the defence sector. Sometimes the data held is so sensitive it’s not safe to put in the cloud by a Cloud Solution Provider.
But, there is an option to have your own Azure stack. And this gives a private cluster of servers on an individual local data centre to run the Azure toolkit.
How Cloud Nexus Have used YouTube for Business Success
Scott says that being consistent and creating helpful, valuable content for social media channels has helped Cloud Nexus with their rapid growth as a Cloud Solution Provider. In fact, he can tie a £50,000 contract to a single YouTube video.
None of the videos are salesy – they explain how to do something or use a particular feature in Office or Azure. However, Scott admits the video production process is time-consuming for one person. And that is often a deterrent for small businesses.
He was advised to get an apprentice, and Cloud Nexus now has a digital marketing assistant who is paid through the UK apprenticeship scheme.
So now, Scott records the videos and the apprentice does the rest – editing, scheduling, engaging online.
Scott’s Biggest Influences
Scott is a big fan of the Go Giver philosophy, as outlined by Bob Burg in his book of the same name.
Plus, Scott also highly rates Marcus Sheridan, who used the concepts of content marketing to transform his business.
Within the IT industry, Scott follows Pete Matheson, IT business coach, who is currently working with Cloud Nexus to help them grow their Cloud Solution Provider business.
And Scott’s a big fan soft skills trainer Mark Copeman at Helpdesk Habits. In addition, he’s learned a lot from people creating awesome YouTube videos.
Additionally, on a personal level, Scott has been inspired by Ade Cheatham, CEO of accountancy firm Cooper Parry. Ade has a laidback approach to business and makes a point of speaking to everyone who visits.
How to Connect with Scott Riley
- Cloud Nexus
- Email Scott
- Follow Cloud Nexus on LinkedIn
- Connect with Scott Riley on LinkedIn
- Visit the Cloud Nexus YouTube Channel
How to Connect with Me
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Mentioned in This Episode
- Book: The Go-Giver – A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David-Mann.
- Podcast: How an MSP can thrive in the security niche with Norb Doeberlein of Netzbahn.
- Book: Helpdesk Habits by Mark Copeman
- IT Business Coach: Pete Matheson
- Book: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber
- Scott’s Personal Inspiration: Ade Cheatham at Cooper Parry Business Advisors
- Book: The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
- Video: Pax8 Demo and Prouct Tour
- Book: They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan