Back in October 2009, some MSPs were chatting up ChannelCloud, a forthcoming platform that may help VARs and managed services providers provision cloud and SaaS applications. Fast forward to the present and there are signs ChannelCloud is nearing an official launch.
According to its teaser Web site, ChannelCloud is:
"A new cloud platform and service delivery model for the channel that extends their MSP investment and business. ChannelCloud is a comprehensive cloud platform which automates the provisioning of SaaS, virtual desktops, virtual servers, and complete cloud solutions without upfront investment in resources or infrastructure."My best guess: ChannelCloud will share more details about its strategy sometime in Q1, 2010.
Familiar TermsChannelCloud's potential launch comes at an intriguing time. While Microsoft builds out Windows Azure, BPOS and even a BPOS lite (for small businesses), some VARs and MSPs are wondering if they should jump into big, vendor-driven clouds or hold out for options that are built by the channel and managed by pure channel players.
As you may recall, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini discussed a pure channel cloud concept during ConnectWise Partner Summit 2009 (November 2009). More recently, ConnectWise Capital and CharTec have partnered in the HaaS market; and CharTec CEO Alex Rogers has hinted cloud moves are next.
Clearly, quite a few folks in the managed services market are using the generic "channel cloud" term. But an official ChannelCloud platform is coming. Who's behind it? What's the strategy? I have a few answers but not all of them. Stay tuned. I'll continue poking around.