Enterprise not a focus but channel should consider cloud integration
Parallels has used is annual Summit in Las Vegas to announce a series of technology updates, including new storage and application integration technology it claims will allow its hosting and cloud service provider customers to offer compelling new products to SMBs.
However, even with its new storage technology, the firm isn’t intending to go after the enterprise space, which would bring it head-to-head against VMware and Microsoft. “We tried that before and it didn’t work,” says Parallels CEO, Birger Steen, who says that large service providers, especially telcos, now have a full, integrated technology stack.
While conceding the new features do offer a potential enterprise rival to the incumbent virtualisation heavyweights, Steen is adamant going after the enterprise market “is somebody else’s job.”
Instead Parallels will work with partners, including IBM and Cisco, to directly target these larger providers. And even with a closer relationship with Cisco, Steen insists the firm will remain neutral – or “Switzerland”, in his words.
The SMB focus was reinforced by Rick Qualman, IBM’s VP of strategy and business development for the global telecommunications industry, who admitted it had struggled to engage SMBs but with partnerships such as Parallels it could take “a value proposition to the and small business, enterprises and everywhere in-between.”
The firm also announced significant advances in its Application Packaging Standard with a new service bus. The technology allows improved communication between applications and cloud services. Parallels CTO Michael Toutonghi demonstrated how the new APS 2.0’s can allow a user to upgrade a website with a digital certificate and an e-commerce platform to create a webshop in just five clicks. The CTO stressed that the APS 2.0 would also allow third parties to create additional plug-ins through an open design specification.
The presentation around the new APS made it clear that Parallels hopes to enable channel partners to replicate the integration services delivered by on-site systems integrators in a cloud equivalent. The other element APS offers is the ability to create integrated application bundles. For example, a cloud service provider could sell a CRM application, collaboration management SaaS and Exchange Server that can automatically share customer and project data without having to perform complex integration. The feature could allow the creation of integrated software suites with applications form different ISVs to rival even Google Apps or even Microsoft’s own Office productivity suites.
Parallels delivered a clear pitch to traditional website hosting firms to embrace its Cloud Server as a tool that can deliver more scalable and profitable value added cloud services. And the incentive was clear with Parallels claiming the on-premise IT sector is growing at just six percent, while cloud services are heading past 30 percent growth.
The was reinforced by Steen, who said the opportunity for cloud services for the planet’s 150m SMBs will hit a trillion dollars within three years.