Intermedia Acquires Zlago; Accelerates Cloud Channel Push
Intermedia, the hosted Exchange specialist, has acquired Zlago, a cloud services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal, officially announced today, was actually part of Oak Hill Capital Partners‘ buyout of Intermedia last month. The Intermedia-Zlago business combination will potentially bolster Intermedia’s cloud channel strategy, which already includes nearly 7,000 MSPs and VARs.
When Oak Hill acquired Intermedia in May 2011, some critics worried about Intermedia’s commitment to channel partners. But a recent visit to Intermedia’s headquarters reinforced my belief that Intermedia continues to accelerate its channel partner program. Plus, Zlago CEO Michael Gold — a seasoned channel executive — joins Intermedia as president.”Zlago is a 100-percent channel focused cloud services company,” asserts Gold. “We’ve got a couple hundred partners and Synnex is our distribution partner.”
Even in the age of cloud computing, going through the channel is “more efficient,” said Gold. “There are tens of thousands of [VARs and MSPs] who serve as SMB trusted advisors. Those SMBs will look to channel partners for guidance, advice and help with cloud computing.”
Gold hopes a growing number of channel partners will turn to Intermedia and the integrated Zlago cloud solutions for help. “Intermedia is the leading provider of hosted Exchange worldwide,” said Gold. “Of all the cloud services hosted email is the one everyone uses. Everyone needs business email. And Intermedia has deep experience with an always-on environment.”
Gold is a familiar name in the cloud market. Before Zlago, he was CEO of Sphera, a cloud services software company that Parallels acquired. He also was a senior VP at Qwest Communications, where he launched the company’s data center and hosting business.
No doubt, Intermedia’s executive suite is changing but the company’s channel team remains in place. In addition to Gold joining as president, former Savvis CEO Phil Koen is joining Intermedia as CEO.
Still, familiar Intermedia channel names like Chief Marketing Officer Manlio Carrelli and Senior VP Bob Leibholz continue to engage MSPs. Leubholz recently attended the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, and Carrelli was among the key hosts at the Intermedia Partner Summit in New York earlier this year.
Looking ahead, Intermedia is trying to leverage its hosted Exchange heritage while pushing into new cloud services like encryption and storage. Intermedia has also taken multiple stabs at the hosted PBX market, though such services remain in their infancy for most of the channel. Intermedia both cooperates and competes with Microsoft, which is set to launch Office 365 on June 28.