Hybrid: DirectPointe Small Office Solution Pro

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

To host or not to host, that is the question many solution providers are asking themselves when it comes to e-mail and collaboration packages. Find out which ones serve the customer best, while still preserving solution provider revenue.

DirectPointe Small Office Solution Pro

Hybrid solutions basically combine premise equipment with a managed services component and SAAS elements. The customer leases the on-premise equipment and pays a monthly fee for access to applications, updates and support. In most cases, a solution provider is the primary point of contact and shares the administrative burden with the vendor. The advantages to a hybrid solution range from customizability to customer control of the data. Players here include DirectPointe, FileEngine and a few others.

DirectPointe takes a very different approach to providing a customer with the needed bits to build a network. The company melds open-source software with cloud-based services to create a platform that meets the needs of a typical small business.

Interestingly, solution providers can download the open-source pieces of the platform for free and then use compatible hardware to deliver the platform to customers. The fastest, easiest and arguably most ideal implementation will incorporate a server purchased from DirectPointe, along with the appropriate services. Solution providers can expect margins of about 30 percent when reselling the DirectPointe Small Office Solution Pro.

The DirectPointe Small Office Solution Pro consists of hardware and software all billed monthly based upon a 48 month contract, the following is included in the configuration we selected:

  • Dell Server with 148Gbytes of Storage
  • Google Apps Premier Edition (e-mail, scheduling, etc.)
  • 10 User VPN Access with DDNS Support
  • Remote Backup Service (25 Gbytes of Storage)
  • Antivirus, antispam services

DirectPointe’s offering includes all the basics to make sure a customer has everything that is needed to put together and protect a basic network. E-mail, scheduling, collaboration and many other elements are handled in the cloud, via Google Apps Premier Edition, which is included in the monthly fee. Our configuration came in at $667 per month (based upon a four-year contract), which works out to $24,012 for three years and approximately $67 per user per month. With an estimated margin of 30 percent, a solution provider should be able to expect a gross profit of roughly $7,200 over three years. Solution providers can pad that profit with installation services, training and options.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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