Fasthosts is diversifying from its roots in web hosting with the launch of a channel-only infrastructure-as-a-service arm.
Rise, which will be formally unveiled tomorrow, is designed to give resellers a vehicle to begin offering cloud-based applications to their SME clients.
Fasthosts claims to be the UK’s largest web hosting firm, drawing about 40 per cent of its revenues through its 5,000-strong partner community.
However, Rise will operate a channel-only model working on the logic that only VARs have the clout to convince SMEs to switch to an infrastructure-as-a-service model. Rise’s Data Centre on Demand offering is based on Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology and can either be offered under the Rise brand or white labelled.
Talking to CRN, Fasthosts and Rise chief executive Andy Burton said SMEs’ lack of skills and resources had been a barrier to wider cloud adoption at the lower end of the market.
Only a trusted local supplier with the ability to aggregate cloud services in one space could convince them to make the leap, he argued.
“The business models haven’t made it easy to adopt cloud. We have productised it and are passing it through organisations [SMEs] trust,” Burton said.
Fasthosts has set aside a six-figure MDF pot to help partners get off the ground in Rise’s first year, Burton revealed. They will also enjoy co-op marketing funding of three-to-five per cent of sales.
“We are being very aggressive,” said Burton.
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