SaaS Experts Prep for Parallels Summit 2010
Parallels has launched a Cloud Services Certification Program to “help its Partners become more profitable.” The news arrives roughly two weeks before the Parallels Summit 2010 kicks off in Miami, Fla. What should partners expect in Miami? Here are some clues — involving some SaaS upstarts and some technology industry giants.
First, today’s news: The Parallels Cloud Services Certification Program is designed for “all Parallels partners and individuals and will provide dedicated training for its panel, virtualization and automation products.” Parallels Summit 2010 attendees can receive up to 30% off the costs of training (depending on the level of partnership).
Interesting. But there’s a bigger story here. Parallels is known in the consumer world for its Parallels Desktop for Mac. Take a closer look and you’ll discover a critical mass of technology companies — from giants like Intel and Microsoft to upstarts like Open-Xchange and Unison Technologies — jumping aboard the Parallels bandwagon.
Why’s that? Parallels claims more than 5,000 cloud service providers worldwide leverage the company’s so-called “service delivery system” — which includes a panel, automation and virtualization suite for ISVs moving to cloud platforms.
Upstarts Worth Noting
The VAR Guy is keeping a particularly close eye on both Open-Xchange and Unison during the Parallels conference. Here’s why.
Open-Xchange specializes in open source email and collaboration software. Instead of moving directly into the SaaS market, Open-Xchange depends on hosting providers as partners. Open-Xchange expects to have more than 26 million users in 2010, up from 15 million in 2009. Why is the company so optimistic? Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna is set to offer an update at the Parallels conference.
Meanwhile, The VAR Guy senses something new is brewing at Unison Communications, a unified communications company. Unison made headlines back in 2008 by announcing a free, advertising-based UC system. But our resident blogger senses some key Unison business moves are coming in 1Q 2010 or so… In fact, perhaps Unison deserves a separate blog entry really, really soon. Either way, Unison Chief Marketing Officer Rurik Bradbury is scheduled to speak at the Parallels conference. The VAR Guy will be seeking some updates from him.
The Parallels conference agenda also includes updates from Microsoft, which continues to pitch a software plus services strategy. There’s even chatter about a potential small business SaaS push involving Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite).
Hmmm… The VAR Guy will be chasing the rumors at the Parallels conference.