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.
We are now just a few days away from the Parallels Summit and the Flexiant team are packing their bags. We have a lot to talk about and show at the Summit and we cannot wait!
This year, we are thrilled to be Silver Sponsors of the event. Our team of cloud experts will be on hand to demonstrate how Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator arms service providers to build a successful cloud services business and compete in today’s cloud battleground.
Flexiant are really pleased to be able to announce that we are going to be a silver sponsor at this years Parallels Summit 2014.
The event, to be held February 24-26 2014 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans provides a unique opportunity to join more than 700 cloud service providers and showcase new solutions to over 1,200 attendees, including senior-level executives responsible for developing and building cloud-enabled services. Over 90% of all hosted websites on the planet are represented by the service providers who attend Parallels Summit.
It is time to pack and head back from Vegas to the UK. The last 3 days at the Parallels Summit 2013 was informative and entertaining in equal measure. It is impressive that the Parallels magnet attracted over 1,000 attendees. A couple of stand out features of the show included their Cloud Storage offering and the service bus offering within APS2.0.
Recently Flexiant integrated with various Parallels components to build and launch a public cloud platform across two continents in 3 countries in only 6 weeks. While some of the capabilities within the Flexiant and Parallels offering overlap, it is clear that Parallels do not yet have the hypervisor agnostic or rich provisioning capabilities that underpin Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator.