March 28, 2012
At the Microsoft Hosting Summit this week Bristol, U.K.-based intY, a cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) specialist to the channel, announced the North American launch of its CASCADE platform, which it established in Europe in 2011. intY bills CASCADE as a “global, cloud-based platform that aggregates cloud services for resellers, service providers and vendors to market, sell and provision integrated communications technologies to end user organizations and through each other’s channels.”
The platform at present uses unified communications (UC) and security services from providers including Microsoft, Symantec, SIPCOM, F-Secure and intY itself. It is designed to speed time to market for partners in offering new services to customers and enables them to contribute their own products and services to resell through the platform. Partners have the option of selecting data centers in the country of their choice. So far, according to the company, more than 60 service providers have signed up for CASCADE.
Last week yours truly had the opportunity to speak with intY CEO Chris Baldock about CASCADE’s North American launch. He commented on the “multitenancy” nature of the channel:
“What we’ve done with CASCADE is to build a multitenancy product. It completely changes the entire game. The reason it does that, of course, is by having a multitenancy product we can put multiple applications, products and services onto CASCADE and allow our customers—that’s our channel customers—immediate access to those products. Which means, of course, they’re able to bridge off of each other, and almost like a buying group, they are able to take advantage of products that have been wholesaled by a vast number of service providers.”
Baldock noted the platform has more than 500,000 users and more than 80 partners. In addition to a security suite, CASCADE includes all the main Microsoft application and services — in 2010 Microsoft tapped intY as a Microsoft Syndication Partner. More recently, security specialist Symantec joined the CASCADE channel.
In growing the platform, “We need to add more partners and more applications, and drive the portal,” Baldock said. “The [value] proposition is equally good to both [of them].”
“When we talk to an application provider we’re able to give them access to thousands and thousands of salespeople, give them rapid introduction into major service providers and get their companies to market. So it’s a very solid proposition to an application vendor. The proposition to a service provider is that they get access to those products rapidly and they can get them into the market.”
intY’s goal with the North American launch is to gain 200 partners by the end of 2012, he said.
Key features of the CASCADE platform include:
Interoperable connector architecture: Hosted on Microsoft Azure, CASCADE can support almost any cloud-based service, regardless of whether the application is hosted by intY, the customer or vendor’s infrastructure.
Vendor contracts: Pre-negotiated commercial terms and licensing agreements for partners to quickly build and price solutions.
Branded storefronts: Via their own branded “storefront” partners can drag and drop services to create bundled solutions for customers, as well as upload services to the marketplace. Customers also receive secure, personalized access to self-serve products and services.
Sales enablement: Full integration and marketing support with each CASCADE service to accelerate time-to-market and customer implementation.
Billing: Integrated with partner’s own billing processes, to ensure simplicity of billing system and continuity of customer-partner relationship.
Channel partners who are interested in the intY CASCADE platform can click here to learn more about its partner program.
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