Open Xchange Partner Summit: 15 Cloud Messages for VARs
The keynote was called “The Sky is the Limit – How to grow your SaaS and On-Premises Business.” But Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna had his head in the cloud when he kicked off the open-source messaging and groupware provider’s second-ever partner summit here in Cologne, Germany. His speech covered a lot of ground in a very short time, but the core message to VARs was constant: Microsoft and Google aren’t the final word in the channel, especially as you head to the cloud. Here are 15 key takeaways for VARs and solutions providers.
Among Laguna’s key assertions…
- “The cloud is big.” – 1.1 billion Internet users now, 2 billion by the end of 2010.
- The SaaS market is expected to grow to $2.4 billion while legacy and on-premises sales stay flat or shrinks.
- E-mail is a natural app to run in the cloud — privacy concerns don’t matter as much because email needs the Internet for useful B2B communications.
- E-mail needs value-adds like anti-spam and VoIP integration to be profitable, but that gets complex with legacy deployment. Cloud cuts down on complexity and cost.
- The cloud looks scary if you make money from hardware sales and configuration services, but the opportunity to get recurring revenue streams is too great to ignore.
- Open-Xchange is an open source company that owes success to 30 years of open source development.
- Google would never have gotten off the ground if they needed to buy Microsoft Windows server licenses.
- Facebook is an example of what you can do if you build your own cloud service.
- “It’s about price, at the end of the day, and the service you deliver.”
- A “Cloud Land Grab” is under way — Windows Live, Google Apps, VMWare, Facebook, Amazon are all competing for their own little slices of the cloud.
- Becoming a Google reseller is an option, but not ideal since you don’t have control over your own customers; to compete you need to build your own service and provide your own edge and assurance.
- Open-Xchange’s channel benefits: Scalable, built-in automation, quick-to-market, value-adds like archiving and anti-spam, “internet age messaging and collaboration” with a mechanism for upselling from free e-mail to a full groupware solution with mobile access, collaboration, etc. “It’s a proven solution that runs.”
- VARs need to use a cloud provider or become their own. Ten long-standing on-premises OX providers became OX hosting providers in 2010 00 “channel meets cloud.”
- From “‘value-add reseller’ to a ‘value-add-provider.'” Cloud business models are about the level of service and new messaging functions you can offer.
- Open-Xchange helps keep customers happy with working technology that’s offered by partners they know and have a relationship with. And partners can assure them that their data still belongs to them when they go with their service — unlike with a Google or Microsoft.
Laguna had additional insights for MSPs, so watch The VAR Guy’s sister site MSPmentor for more on that front. And watch The VAR Guy for further updates from the Open-Xchange Partner Summit.