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July 1, 2021
Snow Software is taking the hosting burden off its managed service provider partners with Snow Atlas.
On Thursday, the vendor introduced a SaaS version of its flagship platform.
Snow Software’s Vishal Rao
“The introduction of Snow Atlas is the next step in our journey to enable organizations to realize the full potential of technology intelligence,” said Vishal Rao, president and CEO of Snow Software. “The platform provides a new way for the hybrid enterprise to manage cost, minimize risk and optimize technology investments. But just as importantly, we view Snow Atlas as the foundation for future innovation that supports the evolving needs of our customers. As such, we are substantially increasing the investment in our product development capacity to rapidly accelerate our innovation agenda.”
The key takeaway for MSPs transitioning to cloud? You no longer have to devote employees to hosting duties. Snow handles the hosting through Snow Atlas, freeing its MSPs to move staff into services-oriented work. You know, the kind that generates the holy grail of recurring revenue.
“This is another big milestone for Snow and our partners,” channel chief Brian Allison told Channel Futures.
Here’s our most recent list of new products and services that agents, VARs, MSPs and other partners offer.
Snow Software’s Brian Allison
“We’re absolutely driving a top-to-bottom asset reallocation for more profitability with our partners,” he added.
To be sure, the launch of Snow Atlas comes as partners throughout the channel continue with their own digital transformations. The activity mirrors that of their clients’. MSPs, VARs, agents and others have to be able to help end users navigate their new technology implementations with authority.
“As partners beef up their cloud, security and other practices, customers are asking what’s going on with all their SaaS apps,” Allison said. Snow Atlas, then, “becomes a perfect opportunity for Snow to serve multiple practices and offers inside of the partner.”
Snow Atlas gives organizations full insight into their technology across SaaS applications, public cloud, on-premises data centers, desktops, hardware and mobile devices. Built on Microsoft Azure, the platform lets users:
Discover and inventory technology assets running across the ecosystem.
Manage and optimize the use of enterprise software and SaaS applications.
Reduce technology spend by reassigning licenses or access.
Minimize risks caused by compliance and security issues.
Integrate technology data across the enterprise.
Snow Software’s Tim Jesser
“Our ability to create visibility is one of the biggest differentiators,” said Tim Jesser, director of product marketing for Snow. “What are you going to do with that data? Respond to a vendor audit? Find opportunities for optimization?”
From there, “the downstream implication is improved outcomes for customers,” Allison said.
All that leads to the bigger picture around Snow Atlas: MSPs will use the platform to develop next-generation services (“the MSP’s lifeblood,” as Allison put it) and move away from legacy sales models. What that looks like, though, remains in flux.
“That’s what we’re defining over the summer,” Allison said. “That’s a journey that we’re on. … So, candidly, this turns into a two-part story.”
That’s because Snow and its partners will, over the next couple months or so, work together to …
… figure out what those services should be.
Once they nail that down, Snow has an even larger strategy in mind: joining the cloud marketplace craze.
“Customers buy solutions, not products,” Allison said. “Say a customer wants BMC plus Snow plus managed services from a key partner. In the past, this all had to be cobbled together.”
Now, however, with Snow Atlas and its API capabilities, “we can have these seamless … solutions between Snow, a technology partner like BMC and a solutions partner.”
And the result will be “pretty darn close to plug-and-play.”
To be clear, Snow has no plans to go up against the likes of AWS Marketplace, Pax8 or Ingram Micro Cloud. Rather, it intends to participate in such ecosystems.
Just as important, MSPs in Snow’s Service Provider Edition and on-premises programs may continue provisioning Snow with their own hosting.
“We are not dropping SPE,” Jesser said. “We have a road map for supporting both environments for some time. This is not a light switch.”
“People need to transition in the time that’s best for them.”
The first capabilities available on Snow Atlas are software asset management, SaaS management and IT service management. As of July 1, partners may offer Snow Atlas’ solutions.
“This is where I get super excited,” Allison said. “In a number of companies making the transition to SaaS, partners can oftentimes come last.”
At Snow, however, “partners are a core part of what we’re doing,” Allison said. “We’re getting a very, very good response from partners who are getting pulled by their customers.”
In terms of how MSPs will make money from Snow Atlas sales, refer to the company’s partner program structure. Allison said no changes apply, for now, when it comes to Snow Atlas. Snow may make some adjustments for 2022 but those details won’t be revealed until late this year.
Read more about:MSPs
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.
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