If you are in search of a cloud management solution, you need to assess Flexiant. Of course, we would say that, but look what Info-Tech Research Group (Info-Tech) has to say. In the second consecutive ‘Vendor Landscape: Cloud Management Platforms’, Flexiant has achieved the highest product innovation score among ten vendors (Abiquo, CA Technologies, Citrix, Eucalyptus, Flexiant, InContinuum, Microsoft, OpenStack, Virtustream and VMware) and was recipient of the Value Award.
The Info-Tech report says, “Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator is a complete solution, offering significant flexibility and ease-of-use at a very reasonable cost…With roots in the service provider market, Flexiant targets service providers in Europe, and has exceptional dashboard customization, and integrated billing capabilities.”
Flexiant maintained the highest Info-Tech Value Score™ of the vendor group scoring 100, well above the average score of 36. Vendors were indexed against Flexiant’s performance to provide a complete, relative view of their product offerings. Flexiant was rated exemplary as a product in usability, affordability and architecture.
We just spent the last three days at the Parallels Summit in New Orleans discussing our integration with Parallels and the launch of our global relationship. But more than this, we got to do what we love best, talk to the hosting and service provider market. Parallels is very unique in our industry having over 10,000 customers that span hosting, MSP and telco organizations. So here’s a few common problems for service providers particularly around the cloud management market we’ve heard at the Summit:
A number of the people we spoke to at our booth arrived with the tread marks of OpenStack still on their shirts. Unfortunately for many, they’ve been in long OpenStack projects without actually getting to market with permanent teams of developers committed to the project and burning CAPEX. This is a trend occurring from hosting providers up to large telcos.
OpenStack has certainly given the market some great technology. The problem however is that it doesn’t yet solve the business problems. These projects are failing because hosters, service providers and telcos cannot actually commercialize their cloud. For many the time to experiment with Openstack had come to an end and it was time to invest in a commercial grade solution.
2. The cloud management vendor doesn’t do what it says on the tin
This is a big one. We came across a number of attendees that are dissatisfied with their existing cloud management solution. Why? It’s pretty simple, they’ve bought the product to do what it says on the tin and it doesn’t. Partly this was stating that functionality exists when it did not, however more often the complaint was that the software was bug ridden and support was poor. Software quality is definitely an issue for many vendors and perhaps should be the subject of another blog. It sounds self-serving, but one of Flexiant’s differentiators is that our software is mature and works.
I’m at the Parallels Summit and just watched CEO Birger Steen discuss the service provider market. Birger spent a few quick minutes discussing what we know – the service provider market is facing consolidation, fragmentation, but also huge growth opportunities. What was particularly interesting though was his talk on the new breed of entrepreneurs. He used Carol, a florist from NOLA as an example of how SMB customers have changed.
Most customers these days start a business and need one, two or three vendors to support their IT needs. Fast forward a few years and now Carol the florist is no longer a florist. She is managing vendor after vendor to ensure she can deliver a service to her customers. And the attributes of these customers have changed. They go to their friends and then take to the Internet to find exactly what services they require. It’s a more informed customer and one that is looking for the best services for the business. Loyalty to a vendor isn’t necessarily part of the equation anymore because services are available from 1000s with only a credit card needed to launch.
So if loyalty alone is not enough, how do you, the service provider ensure you are still part of Carol’s business as it expands and grows? It’s about providing a seamless experience to your users with one UI that allows you to get back to doing your business – for Carol that’s being a florist. The theme of the session is putting the cloud to work for real businesses and that’s exactly what the service provider needs to do – let Carol be a florist!
The SMB market will be a huge area of opportunity for cloud service providers as single proprietor businesses open daily and need IT support so they can focus on their products and services. As these businesses grow, so too will their need for IT and that’s where Parallels sees huge opportunity for its customers.
In our last blog we looked at what Horizon 2020 will mean for ICT and Flexiant. Today, we focus on the Europe 2020 agenda and how it supports research and innovation in EU organizations. These initiatives are not part of the H2020 work programme but contain essential knowledge of EU strategy and goals essential for mapping to H2020. Europe 2020 is the EU growth for the next 10 years and contains 5 objectives on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy. There are several initiatives identified to try and meet these objectives, the most relevant for Flexiant and ICT involvement in H2020 being:
1. Industrial Policy
An industrial policy for the whole of Europe is a hard thing to get right, but Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission puts it pretty succinctly when he states:
“Europe needs industry and industry needs Europe. We must tap into the full potential of the Single Market, its 500 million consumers and its 20 million entrepreneurs.”
Flexiant has always said that the key for service providers to succeed, is to get to market with a mature, stable but differentiated product. Unfortunately that is not as easy as it sounds. If you take an off the shelf software solution, surely that limits the flexibility and differentiation capabilities?
That’s where our plugin system comes in. By having a powerful and mature core platform, with all the key functionalities including compute, network, storage orchestration, right through to metering, billing and customer management you have the core ingredients to get up and running quickly.
By combining that with an easy to use plugin system that then allows a service provider to customize and extend their platform to deliver a differentiated service, the service provider and their customers can get the best of both worlds.