Can Parallels Lead Small Business VARs to Cloud Profits?
How can SMB solutions providers participate more effectively in cloud computing? I think I might find some answers at the upcoming Parallels Summit (Feb. 22-24, Orlando). Apparently, most of the conference will focus on SMB cloud strategies — including cloud chatter hosted by Microsoft, SoftLayer and Symantec. The anticipated SMB focus is hardly surprising, considering Parallels recently hired two former Microsoft executives who have extensive cloud and small business experience.
I attended the 2010 Parallels Summit, and expect some evolutionary steps during the 2011 event. In 2010, most of the event focused on hosting providers and ISVs moving to the cloud. But I suspect the 2011 event will include more content for VARs and MSPs that want to partner up in the cloud. In particular watch for:
2.. Go Daddy President and COO Warren Adelman to describe how his company is serving SMBs in the cloud.
3. Symantec CTO Mark Bregman to potentially talk about Symantec Hosted Services, which has about 5,000 channel partners so far. Symantec CEO Enrique Salem has previously stated that he expects 15 percent of the company’s revenues, or about $1 billion annually, to come from SaaS and cloud within the next five years or so.
So far the Symantec Hosted Services effort focuses mostly on security. TalkinCloud wonders when online storage and online backup will be added to the mix, and how channel partners will fit in.
4. SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby to discuss the recent merger with The Planet, apparently creating the largest privately held hosting and cloud provider in North America. Despite rapid cloud computing growth, SoftLayer still sees growing demand for dedicated servers in data centers.
5. Microsoft GM Bill Staples, who focuses on Microsoft’s web platforms and tools. But I wonder if Staples will share new clues about Office 365 (the forthcoming successor to Business Productivity Online Suite) and Microsoft Windows Azure.
6. Parallels CEO Serguei Beloussov offering an update on Parallels’ global partner and customer strategy. Parallels must also prove that it’s software is designed for smaller partners pushing into the cloud, not just big hosting providers.
Making Their Cloud Moves
I’ll also keep a close eye on Parallels President Birger Steen, the former VP of Small Business at Microsoft. Plus, I’ll check in with Parallels VP of Alliances John Zanni, a former Microsoft Software plus Services Industry team leader. I’ll be curious to learn how Steen and Zanni view the cloud computing world now that they’ve moved from Microsoft to Parallels.
No doubt, Parallels is best known on the desktop (for Mac virtualization software) and in large hosting companies, which use Parallels’ software to rapidly deploy SaaS applications. But for the Parallels Summit 2011, it’s clear Parallels intends to focus like a laser on SMB customers and SMB solutions providers.
The big question: Can Parallels really help solutions providers generate SMB cloud profits? TalkinCloud will be hunting for answers.