Artisan, 2X Software Team on App Delivery Platform for MSPs

Artisan, 2X Software Team on App Delivery Platform for MSPs

Artisan Infrastructure and 2X Software have banded together to let MSPs deliver applications in the cloud. The recently announced arrangement expands upon ad-hoc collaboration between the companies with joint customers. Artisan contributes its virtual private data center platform, through which MSPs can build and manage public and private clouds. 2X Software, for its part, provides its 2X ApplicationServer, which the company says tunnels any Windows application or desktop to remote end user devices. The combined solution enables MSPs to deliver applications via Artisan’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

Watchman Computer Services, a Denver-based MSP, is working with Artisan and 2X Software. Todd Jones, general manager of Watchman Computer Services, said his company was evaluating virtual infrastructure providers and application virtualization technologies when it came across Artisan at CompTIA’s Breakaway conference. Jones said he then learned of 2X Software through Artisan.

Over the past few weeks, the MSP has been moving its own servers into Artisan’s infrastructure. Eventually, the entirety of the MSP’s IT infrastructure will be migrated to Artisan, except for the company’s desktops.

As for external customers, Jones said he is looking to use Artisan to host individual application servers or, in some cases, entire server infrastructures. He said 2X Software goes hand in hand with Artisan, taking a customer’s collection of client devices out of the equation. Virtualization, he noted, provides a consistent application experience for users equipped with iPhones, iPads, Androids, Macs, Windows XP desktops or Windows 7 machines, for example.

“From a customer perspective, that is huge,” Jones said.

Delivering applications through 2X Software addresses the issue of mixed environments. Virtualization -- coupled with the ability to avoid server acquisition costs through Artisan -- has prompted some customers to move on deals that they had been hesitant to pursue, Jones added.

Watchman Computer Services’  use of Artisan, meanwhile, will also save the MSP money. Jones said his company has been paying top dollar for its raised-floor server room. That investment, however, hasn’t paid off, as the company doesn’t have enough high-volume customers to fully utilize the facility, Jones said. The migration to Artisan, however, provides the MSP an opportunity to significantly lower its overhead.

“We are not tethered to this space,” Jones said, noting that the company can seek out less expensive real estate. He said the potential savings amounts to $60,000 a year.

Brian Heirholzer, president and chief executive officer of Artisan, said his company’s partnership with 2X Software provides MSPs “the nuts and bolts” to offer line-of-business applications on a hosted or software-as-as-service basis.

And Artisan’s self-service nature -- the company provides MSPs tools for administrative access -- lets service providers own the cloud solution, Heirholzer said. MSPs may have been reselling a cloud-based solution, but Artisan’s approach “enables them to take it under their wing for the first time,” he added.

Artisan provides its infrastructure exclusively through wholesale partners and MSPs, according to the company.

Scott Sims, general manager for the Americas at 2X Software, said Artisan and his company “recommend each other, back and forth.” He noted that many of 2X Software’s resellers don’t want to spend money on a hosting solution when they can leverage Artisan’s infrastructure.

Artisan and 2X Software offer MSPs another avenue into the cloud. It’s an option to consider for companies weighing a partnering approach versus an investment in in-house hosting and SaaS capabilities.

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