WASHINGTON >> A new platorm that provides consumers an easy way to shop for IT services is hoping to disrupt that marketplace the way on-line shopping services have affected travel and personal investment industries.
Shop4Clouds Inc., which has opened for business, provides a one-stop-shop for independent comparisions and recommendations.
The startup has also embedded unique gaming techniques in the platform to attract customers.
"The current business model for researching and procuring IT services is time intensive and costly for IT and business executives to make the right decision," said Shop4Clouds co-founder Keith Trippie.
"The dynamic, expansive products and services in the IT marketplace can lead to a career limiting decision," Trippie said. "Combining the dynamism of the IT market with the differing security and compliance requirements by industry and country is a good market for consultants, but not for consumers. I knew there had to be a better way."
A free service to consumers, Shop4Clouds allows customers to easily answer questions about their unique needs, and quickly receive independent comparisons and recommendations across multiple IT providers. It allows users to compare different IT services across different business decision categories like security/compliance, operations and pricing. Shop4Clouds allows users to save, rate and print their search results, streamlining purchasing efforts.
Customers will earn points simply for using the site and in the future, users will be able to redeem Shop4Clouds points. Gamifying the user experience for consumers shopping for IT services provides incentives for return site visits.
Pressures from executives to reduce costs and shrink the time to market for new services are further compounding the challenge to IT buyers. Whether an owner of a small business, the IT Director of a Fortune 100 company or a government agency analyst, making the wrong decision on technology can have significant ramifications on business or mission objectives. Shop4Clouds aims to minimize the risk factor.
"The time to disrupt the IT industry is now," says Trippie, a former Senior IT Executive at the Department of Homeland Security. "We are starting with cloud, a $200B market, and plan to expand the platform into other IT areas including software/hardware, IT solutions and telecommunications later this year."
Shop4Clouds' patent-pending platform will provide companies, government agencies and higher education institutions with unique customer intent data, which does not exist in the market today. This high value information will be used to support research and development initiatives, modify IT contracts to meet future needs and influence marketing and sales approaches.