iIT, Artisan Deal Promotes Channel-Only Offering

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print

Channel partners will have more control over how they deliver cloud services and determine their profit margins.

Sharing a channel-only philosophy, independenceIT (iIT) and Artisan Infrastructure have formed a partnership that gives their channel partners more control over their cloud service offerings and pricing models.

Together, iIT's Cloud Workspace Suite, a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering, and Artisan's wholesale infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are expected to help drive recurring revenue for channel partners. Both companies are looking to develop a channel-only ecosystem for channel partners.

"Our solution gives partners a lot of control over their cloud deployments and what they're delivering to their customers," said Jim Lippie, executive vice president of business development at iIT. "They are responsible for tier-1 support. We never publish end-user pricing, so they can price the solution the way they see fit, based on the margins they want. They also can bundle other services into that fixed-monthly per-user cost model."

All channel partners—value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs) and Internet service providers (ISPs)—will be able to select the way they want to leverage the offerings from iIT and Artisan.

The partnership provides channel partners with turnkey white-label cloud offerings and a channel-only business model that gives VARs, MSPs and ISPs a new choice in selecting their partners. "iIT can deliver the product completely as a service, whereby iIT provides the infrastructure through Artisan, and we give [the channel] a complete desktop package to offer to their end customers," said Seth Bostock, executive vice president, iIT.

Channel partners also can license the software from iIT and purchase infrastructure separately from Artisan and create their own solution. "With that private-label solution, they are administering the cloud deployments, maintaining them and interfacing with the customers so they know it's coming from them," added Lippie.

iIT's Cloud Workspace Suite enables rapid deployment, provisioning and services to Artisan's ecosystem. That helps speed up the selection, adoption and deployment of software solutions already certified, such as the Cloud Workspace. iIT's partners can take advantage of Cornerstone, Artisan's wholesale-only IaaS, which is offered only to cloud providers. The Cornerstone virtual Private Data Center (vPDC) provides its partners with autonomy, control, security and visibility to build, manage and own scalable cloud solutions, according to iIT.

There are three key reasons why the partnership with Artisan is important to partners, said Lippie. "We're diversifying our partner base on the data center side, which gives the partners more options," he explained. "The second benefit is pricing. We want to continue to drive down pricing for our partners so they can make higher margins and deliver more compelling price points to their end customers. We want to enable them to have the best solution at the best price in the marketplace.

"Third, we are committed to partner education and marketing to those organizations that are being impacted by what I call the 'channel eclipse'—large direct players coming in and trying to take market share from ISPs, MSPs and VARs," Lippie added. "We feel Artisan is a great partner in reaching that partner base. They are very much ingrained in the notion of training like we are."

iIT and Artisan Infrastructure plan to host a series of joint educational Webinars, starting in July. The sessions will include information on iITUniversity, iIT's education program designed to drive recurring revenue and increase profit margins for channel partners.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributing writer, specializes in technology and the channel.