Until this week, Parallels was perhaps best known for Macintosh-oriented virtualization software. But that may change -- starting today. The reason: Parallels has organized a major SaaS and cloud conference in Miami. Large technology companies (Cisco, Microsoft, Novell) and industry upstarts (Channel Cloud, CloudLinux, and more) are converging on the event. Here's why MSPs better pay attention.
I concede: Back in December 2009, I didn't know much about Parallels Summit 2010 (Feb. 22-24, 2010, Miami). Fast forward to the present, and a growing list of regular MSPmentor readers are set to attend this week's conference.
The reason: Parallels quietly provides much of the base software infrastructure that allows software companies and VARs to rapidly deploy SaaS and cloud applications. As a result, everyone from Microsoft to Novell will be on hand at the Parallels Summit.
The MSP HookPlenty of MSP-oriented topics will pop up at the event. I expect to meet Channel Cloud founder Kent Erickson (best known as president and CEO of Pointivity) to hear more about his business strategy. Channel Cloud first popped up on my radar during the N-able Partner Summit in October 2009. Erickson, representing Pointivity, was a speaker at that event.
Also at Parallels Summit, watch for potential news out of Unison Technologies -- a unified communications upstart that works closely with Intermedia, one of the best known providers of hosted Exchange 2010 white label services to VARs and MSPs. Unison Chief Marketing Officer Rurik Bradbury is set to speak at the conference. Unison made headlines about a year ago by launching a free, advertising-based unified communication system. I expect to get an update from Bradbury in the next couple of days.
We're also keeping tabs on Cloud Linux Inc. -- which has launched a Linux distribution (CloudLinux OS) specifically designed for hosting providers and data center providers. And I expect more SaaS channel partner news from Open-Xchange, an open source rival to Microsoft Exchange.
I realize nobody "owns" the cloud. But for the next few days, most SaaS and cloud experts will be focused on Miami and the Parallels Summit. That's a pretty impressive feat for Parallels, considering the company originally made its name helping customers to virtualize Windows and Mac OS X on Apple hardware.