CloudShare: Throw Your Infrastructure Into the Cloud
For a reseller, the only thing worse than the hassle of setting up on-site product demonstrations is not making the sale. Enter CloudShare, which takes existing IT infrastructure and lets you throw it into the cloud, giving VARs a virtual environment to deliver any enterprise application as-a-service for as long as your customers need to close the deal. I spoke to CloudShare VP of Marketing Kevin Epstein on the company’s offering and their future channel moves.
Rather than spend company time and company money on sending someone to the middle of nowhere for a week to get the customer’s data center ready to run your application for the duration of a demonstration or training session, Epstein says, just throw a local cluster into the cloud and deliver the application that way.
Epstein sees CloudShare as the Cisco WebEx of application demonstration and training: once you’re all set up, just shoot the customer a link and they can access the application in a white-label, private browser window. Once it’s set up, applications function like they were on premises. VARs can even assign it a public IP – handy when showing off solutions like firewalls.
In fact, Epstein says that some customers like the hosted aspect as much as they like the solution itself, and resellers inadvertently sell them on cloud services just by virtue of leveraging CloudShare. It comes in two versions: the unlimited, paid CloudShare Enterprise and the single-user/small team free CloudShare Pro.
Now, the bad news. Even though the CloudShare solution is potentially a huge boon to VARs, Epstein says their channel program remains largely undeveloped. CloudShare has a simple affiliate program for small resellers that rewards customer referrals, and a “customized” partner program that they hand-tailor to bigger organizations, with nothing in the middle. But it sounds like more channel efforts are coming soon.
In the meanwhile, there are two things you can do to get ready for a real partner program: sign up to become a referrer, and download the free CloudShare Pro and give it a spin. He says all it takes is five minutes of playing around and CloudShare should sell itself.