Mission Cloud One Is AWS Partner’s ‘Version Of The iPhone’
‘As the name suggests, it’s an all-in-one, tightly integrated service that’s based on this foundation of the three core services that we’ve developed and really refined with AWS over the last two years,’ Mission CEO Simon Anderson says.
Mission is launching an AWS managed cloud service that combines three of its core and now-mature capabilities into a single offering touted as its most comprehensive and cost-efficient to date.
The new Mission Cloud One is the Los Angeles-based company’s “version of the iPhone,” according to Simon Anderson, CEO of the AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS-focused managed services provider.
Mission Cloud One combines Mission’s hands-on support for AWS; optimization of the cloud environment, which includes cost, performance and governance; and management of the environment and the applications and data that are running in it, Anderson told CRN.
“As the name suggests, it’s an all-in-one, tightly integrated service that’s based on this foundation of the three core services that we’ve developed and really refined with AWS over the last two years,” Anderson said.
That includes Cloud Foundation, Mission’s managed service leveraging CloudHealth by VMware’s cost-optimization platform.
“For our managed cloud offering component of this, we leverage New Relic [One] for all the instrumentation and monitoring,” Anderson said.
Mission Cloud One services include day-to-day, proactive management of AWS infrastructure; regularly scheduled account reviews analyzing key performance metrics; completion of up to 10 hours of AWS provisioning requests each month; and around-the-clock, real-time monitoring and alert response for AWS services, websites and servers, with an average response time of less than five minutes. It also offers auto-instrument monitoring for serverless functions, including logs, metrics and traces, without requiring code changes, and container monitoring with Mission’s cluster explorer.
Depending on the services it’s offering to customers, Mission often deals with their financial, operations and DevOps teams.
“Bringing all of these services under one umbrella and tightly integrating them enables us to deliver a much better customer experience all around with great communication between those different functions within the customer and within Mission itself,” Anderson said.
Mission’s ‘Sweet Spot’
Mission was formed with the October 2018 merger of Reliam, Stratalux and G2 Tech Group.
“One of our points of differentiation is the fact that we’ve chosen so far only to build capabilities and services and competencies around one of the three major … public cloud platforms, which is AWS,” Anderson said. “What that’s enabled us to do is to really invest heavily in making sure that our team is truly experts in those services.”
Mission’s “sweet spot” is working with the upper end of small to midsize businesses, venture-funded startups and lower enterprise customers.
One of those customers’ first pain points often is the realization that scaling in the cloud, migrating other applications or doing new cloud-native application development will correspond with a significant spending increase. And they want to know how to control that spending, what new services are being spun up, which service or application they relate to and which department is incurring the expense, according to Anderson.
“They really want to have the confidence that they can scale the usage and spend confidently, knowing what the spend is related to, knowing that it’s being done efficiently and it’s being optimized on an ongoing basis,” he said.
With Mission Cloud One, Mission cloud analysts and technical account managers will work alongside customers to build their confidence around using AWS’ complex set of services, so they eventually can start to road-map their future use.
“With certain minimums, we’re effectively charging the customer a percentage of their actual spend each month, so that they have consistency around that,” Anderson said.
The company has been testing Mission Cloud One with existing customers in the past few months, and a significant portion has seen a reduction in the cost of the services that they’re consuming from Mission, according to Anderson.
“One of the absolute powerful aspects of the AWS business model is that AWS is constantly looking to drive efficiencies in its own services and business and then pass on some of those savings to end customers,” Anderson said. “We very much follow the same sort of psychology. For Mission Cloud One, even with our existing customer base, many of them will see a 15 [percent] to 20 percent reduction in the cost of the services that they were consuming.”
Providing these services as an integrated offering also drives other efficiencies that allow Mission to bring down the cost, according to Jonathan LaCour, Mission’s chief technology officer. It comes down to customers comparing what it would cost them to hire employees to manage their cloud environments and buy and learn how to use the tools themselves, he said.
“Across the board, this [Cloud One] service generally will cost less than a single full-time resource that a customer would use to deploy on this plus the cost of the tools,” LaCour said. “And they get a faster start, and they get access to a much larger pool of people. It really kind of makes it a no-brainer.”
Mission, which declined to reveal its annual revenue, is ranked second on CRN’s 2020 Fast Growth 150 list for its more than 795 percent revenue growth from 2017 to 2019, up from sixth place last year.
The company found itself doing a lot of “triage” with customers when the coronavirus pandemic forced shutdowns.
“There were a total of about 38 customers of our 250 or so customers that we worked with closely to either right-size their environments or right-size our services to them, separate to their AWS environments … to help them get through,” Anderson said. “In the end, we had about five customers that effectively we weren’t able to continue service with because they were just too badly impacted by the financial side of things.”
Mission’s third-quarter revenue was up 28 percent from the prior quarter, when it climbed about 20 percent. It expects full-year growth of 60 percent compared with 2019, all of it organic, with no acquisitions, according to Anderson.
A big reason for Mission’s success this year, despite the pandemic, was its early focus on the possibility of a financial or other crisis and quick rollout of cost-optimization services and programs, according to LaCour.
“The success we saw there with our Cloud Foundation service—and our optimization services in general—and all of the different programs we created around reserved instances and an instance discount program and so on gave us this vision for evolving our overall managed service,” LaCour said. “And that was really why Mission Cloud One was born.”