AboutJack Brandt is a leading expert in channel development for organizations addressing the SMB. He has helped numerous organizations develop online sales channels for their Internet/cloud based services as an advisor and an individual contributor in domains, web hosting, cloud services, and local & hyperlocal search. He as worked directly with hosters, telcos, cablecos, YP’s and drectories, both on and offline to help achieve their goals. Jack Brandt is currently President of Mixed Media Ventures, LLC, and continues to help channel organizations better serve and market to their customers and clients.
SoftLayer, Parallels combine to create turnkey offering; product of disintermediation: Reprinted from Tier One Email Newsletter
SoftLayer, Parallels combine to create turnkey offering; product of disintermediation
SoftLayer and Parallels have partnered to address the opportunity that disintermediation in the market is creating. Simply put, IT suppliers such as VARs, SIs and ISVs are finding that their position in the IT value chain is being cut out by hosters as consumers and organizations look to buy hosted services – for infrastructure or software applications – rather than procure from IT shops that sell physical hardware and software assets, come on-site, install and customize, and handle upgrades and technology refreshes. It is now about buying and deploying services through a Web browser managed, delivered and hosted by a service provider. It is about opex versus capex and the cost efficiencies they promise. Pure-play hosters have benefited from this transformation for several years and the market continues to grow and mature and this is drawing interest from outside the sector. Witness the growth in channel partner programs targeted at IT shops that are trying to transition to hosted service delivery as the total addressable market shrinks. In a nutshell, IT shops are following revenues and to capture them they are being forced to look more and more like service providers and hosters.
Parallels Automation is a platform for managing, automating and delivering hosted services and applications. This could be shared hosting or virtual private servers (and now cloud infrastructure), or applications like Exchange email, Open-Xchange email and SharePoint collaboration, among others. This is half the battle. The other half is the infrastructure that supports the Parallels Automation platform and is home to customer content and the application services they consume. Parallels has traditionally sold to pure-play hosters and infrastructure is something they are good at and have plenty of. But these non-traditional IT shops are new to the infrastructure game and are looking for help. In response, they have looked to wholesale providers in growing numbers – such as Verio, Fasthosts Internet, Hostway or Hostopia – which have platforms of their own, with the infrastructure piece to support them. Parallels wants to win in this market, and it has a ready-made platform. It does not, however, have the infrastructure capabilities and turning to SoftLayer takes care of that.
With the partnership, SoftLayer will begin to offer hosting infrastructure, whether that be dedicated, virtual or cloud servers, with the Parallels Automation platform already installed. This will essentially be a turnkey hosted service delivery business that any IT shop can turn on and get up and running literally within hours. This partnership applies across SoftLayer’s footprint, which is based across North America but will hit Europe and possibly Asia later this year. Clearly, Parallels chose SoftLayer because of the rapid on-demand provisioning, remote management tools and easy procurement process. Working with SoftLayer will make it very easy for IT shops to make the jump and importantly, they will have access to a hosting operation that has proved its mettle in the market, and is backed by a strong reputation, track record, resources and aggressive growth.
It is clearly a win-in. Parallels will have a great selling point and platform to push customers onto, with the benefit of a quick ramp up. SoftLayer, of course, loves hosting servers (of any kind), and this opens up a ready-made channel that Parallels will help market. This customer demographic is also typically very sticky and has significant upside not just in terms of their core business using Parallels Automation, but for other services like cloud storage and add-ons like security, load balancing, disaster recovery, etc.
This partnership is all about pushing more organizations to get into hosted service delivery. The more hosters that are out there, the more opportunities for Parallels to sell its software, the more hosted service consumption and the more licenses Parallels can sell. It brings T1R back to the early days of the industry when EV1 (later merged with The Planet) CEO Robert Marsh launched the $99 dedicated server and told everyone they could “start your own hosting business with $100.” This partnership is taking that several rungs up the food chain, with a strong infrastructure and hosting foundation (SoftLayer), along with a maturing delivery platform (Parallels). EV1′s old partners could really sell only shared Web hosting and in many cases, these were micro-organizations. They clearly did not have the efficiencies on the infrastructure side with EV1 or with management tools and virtualization.
SoftLayer and Parallels address both these issues in a big way (to say the least). In short, SoftLayer and Parallels have partnered to create a turnkey service that this audience can use, but is also perfectly fit for a larger IT organization. And importantly, it can do so much more, delivering different infrastructure flavors and a growing range of applications (which Parallels continues to push forward on with this ecosystem and the APS standard). As more of the market gets disintermediated, we should expect that more organizations will look for ways to get into the hosting game. While there are clearly a lot of options, SoftLayer and Parallels is shaping up to be a compelling one, particularly with those that like automated tools.
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Google Apps is as good as it is bad apparently
While I love free tools that help to make the small business productive, when they go down it is a solid reminder that paid tools “generally” don’t go down. While Google Apps Standard (Calendar, Documents, Sites, etc.) seem to be up most of the time, it is sure inconvenient when they go down. This morning Google Calendar went down not allowing me to sync my Outlook to my Google Calendar to my Iphone Calendar. Bleh! While not a major issue, it is definitely inconvenient.
The moral of the story, maybe it is time for me to upgrade to Google Apps for Business…View comments →
Learning About Purpose from Jerry McGuire
I came across something a couple of years ago, when researching the word “purpose.” I forget exactly what for, but for your edification, it was the “Mission Statement” from the Jerry McGuire film. While a movie with a romantic twist, it was based on the true story of a guy named Leigh Steinberg searching for a change and purpose to his life… But this post is not about Leigh or Jerry. It is about a person’s search for purpose to help propel him or her into the next steps of business and life. Read the Mission Statement here and get inspired!View comments →
Guy Kawasaki talks about Ten Ways for Small Businesses to Use LinkedIn
Guy Kawasaki discusses “Ten Ways for Small Businesses to Use LinkedIn:” http://goo.gl/iAmr The question I have, is who is going to teach the SMB how to use LinkedIn and why they should be using it for their Small Business… I still believe there is a clear disconnect between the SMB, and online technologies to help them be more productive and driving revenue.View comments →
Video tutorial: How to make a Facebook page in under 4 minutes for your small business
I came across this video tonight about creating a facebook page for your small business.View comments →
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