One of the primary issues solution providers face when shifting to the cloud is all the capital costs associated with setting up a cloud management platform. Everything from hosting the applications to managing the billing process winds up eating at the bottom line of solution providers that generally don’t wind up making money on any given contract until at least the second year of the service contract.
To help solution providers make that transition, VAR Dynamics created a platform through which solution providers can resell, for example Microsoft Office 365, by leveraging the cloud platform that VAR Dynamics has already built. Now VAR Dynamics is extending the reach of that effort to include a Super Partner Channel program through which telecommunications firms, master agents, master distributors, master managed service providers (MSPs), cloud aggregators and marketplace vendors can take advantage of wholesale pricing to resell VAR Dynamics’ service to smaller channel partners.
MSPs can now invoke a service that includes all the management tools they need to serve their customers, said Brittani Von Roden, chief marketing officer for VAR Dynamics. In contrast, when MSPs, for example, partner with Microsoft, they still have to create their own billing and management framework around Microsoft Office 365.
After recently moving to reduce the cost of its Microsoft Office 365 service to be slightly higher than what Microsoft charges, VAR Dynamics is looking to partner with solution providers that don’t have access to the capital required to make the transition to the cloud.
“We give partner access to a private-label service for delivering Microsoft Office and other SaaS applications,” said Von Roden. “We also provide all the support and billing management they need.”
VAR Dynamics can now be more aggressive on pricing because it has upgraded its backend cloud platform, she said. The new P13 platform also can be used not only to host Microsoft Office 365, but also a set of complementary hosted email, collaboration, security, data protection and mobile computing applications, said Van Roden.
For many reasons, not every solution provider can afford the initial ante required to make the transition to the cloud. Just as important, not every solution provider is going to find it economically feasible to make the investments required to stay competitive in the cloud over an extended period of time. As a result, many solution providers may very well decide they are going to be a lot better off investing in customer-facing consulting services to drive higher revenue rather than acquiring backend IT infrastructure that starts to diminish in value the minute they install it.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.