Parallels Summit 2012: The Future of Parallels and Hosting
Day two of Parallels Summit 2012, and The VAR Guy still doesn’t have a tan. But there’s a great glow around Parallels, which is beaming about its potential success in the upcoming years. Both co-founders of Parallels took the stage for the keynote and explained why, for Parallels, the future looks rosy and bright …
First up, was Serguei Boloussov, co-founder, executive chairman and chief architect at Parallels. Beloussov quickly laid out the evolution of the cloud era, from 2008 to present-day, with key players including SalesForce, Amazon, Microsoft and more. But instead of asking about what 2013 could bring, he jumped 10 years in the future. In 2022, he said, the hosting world will become much more than a conduit to services — hosts will be a conduit to a complete package for whatever business proposal you have. Beloussov pointed to GoDaddy.com, which now offers small-business credit accounts in addition to its plethora of hosting capabilities. Extending services and a line of credit is just the first step, he said.
Beloussov also waxed poetic about some other technologies, insisting TVs will eventually become communication devices (The VAR Guy agrees), mobile service providers will succumb and become a big pipe (much like China Mobile has already) and the rise of the personal PBX will become common, since we’ll use multiple devices and phone numbers to communicate but also will desire the ability to control and communicate to anyone with any device. Beloussov is sure of this because he himself has already been leveraging such technology. Mobile phones will continue to proliferate at an alarming rate, with mobile purchases and payments skyrocketing. The VAR Guy appreciated that Beloussov did not neglect storage, which will inevitably grow with all technology.
“Thinking about the future may change your own future quite a lot,” he said, adding that the SMB growth coming down the pipeline will impact that future greatly. Cloud has changed the way SMBs grow and impact the market, he noted, mostly because cloud services have simplified the once-painful implementation of on-premise systems. Now all you need is that big dumb pipe.
Jack Zubarev, president and co-founder of Parallels, meanwhile focused more on the bottom line. “Profit can be made on any part of the [supply] chain,” he said, showing how the IT ecosystem has never been more interconnected. ISVs can communicate directly with both VARs and vendors, there’s integration and collaboration across service providers and SMB needs, and the cloud ties them all together. An added bonus from this evolution? Enterprise features are becoming affordable for the masses, meaning SMBs can be more productive and twice as nimble.
“Consumerization of IT, it’s not hype, it’s happening,” Zubarev said, and noted the evolution of platform-as-a-service is part of what makes mobile productivity possible. He quickly touched on how developing with mobile in mind (larger buttons, easier layout, streamlined interface) will help propel any business service. But the grand vision is “MyIT,” which Zubarev explained is the conglomeration of services that connect and streamline a person’s business and life.
So what’s the key takeaway for partners? The VAR Guy believes the distilled essence of this voluminous discussion is that VARs, MSPs and ISVs all have a vested interest in focusing on how hosted services can either become part of their business model or be leveraged for their own business needs. Parallels would obviously like it if you leveraged its technology to accomplish that. But for Parallels, the evidence (read: projected profits) seems so compelling that it believes VARs will want to make the transition to some kind of hosting provider or become a full-blown MSP.
When that happens, will we rise the rise of The MSP Guy?