July 27, 2012

3 Min Read
AT&T's Top MSP Makes Private Cloud Services, VDI Push

By samdizzy

BTG CEO jeff-kaplan

BTG (Breakthrough Technology Group), AT&T’s top revenue generating solutions partner, has been pushing aggressively into the cloud services market. The MSP’s growing portfolio of services stretches from private cloud to virtual desktops and SaaS applications.

Still, BTG is not trying to compete with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure and other public cloud providers. “We’re not the Amazon model,” said Jeff Kaplan, CEO of BTG. “We’re not a public cloud. Our customers don’t want a public cloud model right now. They want a private cloud model, where they can outsource certain services to us.”

Indeed, the New Jersey-based company offers a range of on-premises and off-premises services. Key options include:

  • Traditional AT&T-oriented solutions, like voice, unified communications, IP networking and mobility.

  • Microsoft-centric SaaS applications, like Hosted Exchange.

  • Virtualization services, including private cloud, VDI and managed virtual desktops.

  • Managed services like AppsAnyplace — again, stretching from VDI to help desk services and device management.

“No matter which service you choose you’ve got one help desk from us,” said Kaplan. “So it’s easy to add more services as you go along.”

Fortune 500 Hires

BTG has about 24 employees and expects to be around 30 team members by the close of 2012. Recent recruits include a high-profile CitiBank veteran as well as experts from the virtualization market (more on that later). Many of the team members previously worked at Fortune 500 companies, Kaplan said, allowing BTG to focus on complex issues like PCI compliance.

BTG is self-funded, debt free and growing “ridiculously fast,” Kaplan asserted — though as a privately held company he declined to discuss specific revenues and profits.

VDI Becomes A Streaming Service

Looking ahead, BTG is closely watching how the VDI market evolves. With Windows XP extended support set to end April 8, 2014, plus the growing mobility and VDI waves, it’s “the perfect storm” to help CIOs shift away from the traditional PC support/desktop software management/patch management model.

“VDI is just a stepping stone to where the industry is going,” said Kaplan. “You’ll ultimately stream apps directly out of storage and you won’t need a traditional [desktop] OS to do that.”

BTG is working closely with Citrix Systems, VMware and other companies to track such trends.

Remember Master MSPs?

BTG is also mulling the Master MSP business model, where it would potentially offer cloud and managed services to peer MSPs and VARs. Kaplan is familiar with Do IT Smarter (a former Master MSP that was acquired in 2010), but he doesn’t want to rush into the market. Instead, he plans to study it a bit more to make sure such a move would be worthwhile for the company and potential partners.

Either way, Kaplan sees plenty of opportunity for more growth with private clouds. And while the company remains self-funded, Kaplan said the day may come when he explores potential funding avenues, “but I’ll do it on my terms.”

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