Interwork Adds File Sharing and Offsite Backup to Security as a Service SuiteBy Steve Wexler | Print
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Interwork is rolling out a file sharing and offsite backup solution as part of a security as a service (SaaS) suite that features products from five vendors, including Ctera. The initial response has been "overwhelming."
Ctera Networks (www.ctera.com) has signed on with value-added distributor
Interwork Technologies (www.interwork.com) to launch a storage and data
protection offering to its more than 4,000 resellers. Called S-Sphere, the
all-in-one SMB solution for file sharing and offsite backup is delivered as
part of a security as a service (SaaS) suite that features products from five
vendors, including Ctera.
According to CEO Liran Eshel, this is an ideal offering for the channel that is powerful, easy to use and requires no up-front investment. Ctera has also put together some introductory offers for new partners.
"We have a concept of cloud storage as a new way to deliver storage to small businesses," he says. Ctera's vision is to create a new class of hybrid storage solutions that combine local storage with cloud services. "It is easy to use the Ctera Portal to manage tens to tens of thousands of subscribers and control all aspects of Cloud Attached Storage, including provisioning, status monitoring and reporting," he says.
The initial response has been "overwhelming," says Interwork's Tim Laroque, director of business development and marketing." The Ottawa-based distributor has 4,000 resellers across North America, but the bulk of the interest has been coming from the United States, he says.
More than 150 solution providers have begun to seriously look at these solutions, and 30 to 40 companies are signing up monthly right now.
Having worked in managed services for the last seven to eight years, what amazes Laroque is the change in solution providers' focus from either a business model or technology perspective to a focus on sales and marketing. "This year we're confident that business partners have the organization in place. It's no longer a question about the business model."
Eshel says existing storage and backup solutions can be expensive, complicated and unreliable, and at a time when everybody must do more with less, especially SMBs, there is a large and growing market for an easy-to-use, affordable and reliable solution. He referred to the Microsoft 2009 SMB Insight Report that found that backup is SMB's main IT pain/opportunity. In addition, the convergence of three emerging markets—embedded NAS and online backup services, both growing at 33 percent per year, coupled with next-generation broadband—makes this the next big channel opportunity, he says.
Ctera offers an ideal solution for protecting business data that is reliable, pay-as-you-use, remotely managed, automatic, no desktop software, fast, offsite and local, and all-in-one, says Eshel. The combination of the Ctera CloudPlug portal and C200 network-attached storage (NAS) appliance provides shared storage, online backup and folder synchronization in a single device. This helps simplify storage processes and increase efficiency, with users able to access files and schedule backups from anywhere via a simple Web-based interface. This eliminates the need for costly tape backup and offsite storage, says Eshel. Plus, S-Sphere allows resellers to provide Ctera solutions through their own branded, white-label portal.
To make it more attractive to the channel, Ctera has announced several launch promotion bundles:
- CloudPlus SOHO/Teleworker Bundle: $199 including first year of service, with File Server using external USB and eSATA drives; Local and Online Backup, with unlimited local, 10Gb online, with 30-day retention; Secure Remote Access; Monthly Report and usage statistics; Remote Management with software updates, and centralized control; and Support for installation and maintenance
- C200 SB/Branch Office Bundle: $499 including first year of service, with File Server with RAID 0/1 with optional external USB drives; Local and Online Backup, with unlimited local, 10Gb online, with 30-day retention; Secure Remote Access; Monthly Report and usage statistics; Remote Management with software updates, and centralized control; and Support for installation and maintenance.
There are also Service Extension options: $110 per year for an additional
10Gb; $220 per year for an additional 25Gb; and $330 per year for an additional
Laroque thinks the bundle is doing well because "security always gets the spotlight in a recession-type market." The changing threat landscape, including the rise of social media, is another factor driving interest in this offering.
He advises solution providers exploring the managed services space to give serious consideration to security as an initial solution. "The lifeline of moving into managed services is much shorter by moving into security." Laroque says partners can offer to do a security audit as either a paid service or as a "freebie," then discuss with the customer the advantages of managed services from a cost and control perspective, "communicating that security is a living procedure that needs to be reviewed and monitored on a constant basis. That's what's driving the market."