Cloud Resellers provide an often hidden, but greatly undervalued service to small-businesses.

What will a cloud reseller do for me as a small business person?

Isn’t it cheaper for me to go direct and be billed directly by the platform?


Cloud services resellers often have inside knowledge on what the best options and configurations are for that cloud service. They can apply best practices and provide advice with the best interests of their clients in mind. They smooth out the bumps and provide a human interface to giant corporate cloud service providers.

Some small businesses just don’t trust resellers as a rule—either through lack of knowledge, spite or just a theoretical standpoint that they might be leaving money or control on the table when they can get the same thing cheaper, elsewhere—which, as a small business-man myself, I understand completely.

Margins matter.

But so too, does quality service.

And being billed directly by the automated robots of a giant cloud corporation is not even close to the same quality of service as what a decent reseller can provide the small business, entrepreneur or freelancer.

I’m going to explain why cloud resellers are not your enemy, and can often be better business allies than you think.

Resellers do a lot more than ‘just taking a cut’ of the subscription costs. They provide a value-added service to both the supplier and the end-user clients. It’s unfair to characterise them as just middlemen standing in the way of a better deal.

My company provides a portfolio of cloud services. I build and manage some of those services on behalf of my clients, but not all of them. The ones I don’t manage internally, I resell and administer on behalf of other platforms.

The bigger ones that I couldn’t hope to compete with, like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Digital Ocean are now strategic business partners, rather than giant-sized cloud competitors. They see it that way too—they provide incentives for small boutique companies like mine to act as the interface between their service and the end-user clients that we introduce to them.

In fact, the incentive structures are typically structured as ongoing relationships. For reseller partners, our commissions are ongoing. We get preferential monthly or annual pricing and we only collect those reseller margins as long as our clients are still happy with the service we’re reselling.

That means that as resellers, our incentive is to keep clients happy, productive and subscribed to their cloud service.

That should be a huge value-added win for the end-user—you get the same cloud service at the same price you’d pay the platfom, but also the experience, human insight and tailored advice from your reseller to help your small business get the most out of the service.

The Value-Add Equation

Cloud resellers often act as sales-persons acting on commission, it’s true, but we also act as:

  • strategic business cloud consultants,
  • technical support engineers,
  • platform administrators,
  • product training providers, and
  • the knowledge link between where the cloud service starts and ends and the rest of your business’ tech stack.

Tailored advice for your small business situation.

Giant cloud service provider organisations like Google and Microsoft provide amazing services at compelling prices.

Where they fall down is in their support for smaller businesses. They will provide the same excellent cloud service directly to any size business, though the rest of their organisation is not geared to little clients—they want the big fish.

They have budgets and whole sales teams dedicated to snaring, converting and migrating large corporate clients to their platforms. Those large accounts are worth the sales and marketing effort for the revenue they bring in.

However, they are pretty terrible at marketing to small business operators, and even worse at providing technical and advisory support to them. You get lumped in with their direct to consumer marketing efforts.

What your reseller can do is to step into that role and provide that small business support and advisory that’s missing from a direct relationship with those giant corporations.

Resellers put a human face in between you and the robots.

Resellers take the work of administering, billing and managing smaller clients away from the large corporations, which smooths out the bumps and keeps cloud service pricing relatively low.

If not for the cadre of resellers available to the small business sector, your only relationship would be with a faceless, voiceless, soul-less automated UI:

  • It would tolerate no lateness in paying your monthly bill and it would not hesitate to suspend (or cancel) your service for late-payment, in accordance with their algorithm.
  • It would not be able to interpret your needs and suggest the best service for your situation.
  • It would not suggest that you don’t need certain service features, or downgrade to a cheaper tier if your business situation changes.
  • It can guess at, based on your inputs to a help enquiry, what pre-prepared articles might solve your stated problem—but it won’t be able to infer that it has nothing to do with this platform, or where to go next to solve your real issue.

Your human reseller acts as the buffer between you and the giant’s algorithm and helps keep your small business on track when the robots fail to really understand you.

Your cloud service account is portable between resellers.

You may have had a poor experience with one reseller, which may have left a bad taste in the mouth regarding resellers.

I have some clients that state that they absolutely must ‘have full control’ of their services and billing with the large cloud service providers. And whilst I absolutely agree that this should always be the case, I’d argue that you already have full control, no matter which reseller you obtain your business cloud services through.

No large corporate cloud provider would trust a sole reseller with the power to limit or reduce the reputation of the provider in the eyes of a small business customer, or to prevent them from gaining access to their service.

The only reason this would be true is in the case of non-payment for the service. In most cases, the only reason a reseller would hold an account to ransom is for a delinquent account, which the giant corporate billing robots would have cancelled long ago, if billed directly!

So, as long as the account is up to date and in good standing, cloud service providers allow migration and authentication tools to help end-user clients migrate their account billing from one small business reseller to another.

Some even allow you to migrate the account away from resellers and be billed directly by the corporate provider (Google does, Microsoft does not).


So, I sincerely hope that this article has given you a new perspective on where cloud resellers sit in the hierarchy between you the giant cloud companies.

This article was not meant to convince you—one way or the other—of the relative value to your small business of obtaining your cloud services from a specific reseller.

Rather I hope that you can gain a better appreciation of the partnership and value that can be realised from a well-managed relationship with a small-business cloud partner with human insight and empathy, versus dealing directly with a billing robot and being left adrift on the lonely seas of user-support by help article!

Reach out if you’d like to move your billing directly from a large cloud provider to our reseller service, and reap the benefits!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *