A band of 15 UK cloud providers has clubbed together to create a "sourcing pool" for mid-market firms adopting cloud computing.
Launching this week, the UK Cloud Alliance is positioning itself as a cost-effective and transparent alternative to supposed one-stop shops that back work off to third parties and take a cut on the margin.
Led by founding member Star, the UK Cloud Alliance will address 13 areas of the cloud technology stack, from infrastructure and IT support to security and virtualisation.
The 14 other members, who must adhere to a code of conduct, are: Nexus, Glasshouse, Total-UK, Itica, Plan B, Modern Networks, Pythagoras, Ubertas, Concentra, Digirati, Maindec, newvoicemedia, LinuxIT and Redstor.
Grant Tanner, business development director at Star, said the alliance would operate a "sell-with" model and was not designed to be a sales channel for the managed service provider.
He said that Star could assist with only 80 per cent of customers' needs as they move to cloud.
"The second- and third-tier SIs add very little value to cloud," said Tanner. "They say they can do it all but are buying services from third parties. We are stripping that away as there is no margin on margin. We are being very transparent."
Tanner praised the work of cloud bodies such as the Cloud Industry Forum but positioned them as "talking shops". In contrast, he said, the Cloud Alliance will provide mid-market customers, as well as larger retail, digital media and professional services firms, with an end-to-end cloud proposition.
The member line-up was whittled down from 1,000 contenders, but Tanner said the alliance would add members as new cloud technology areas emerge. Star has funded the initial costs but members will be asked to contribute to marketing costs when revenue rolls in.
"We are all established players who know each other's strengths," said Tanner.
Peter Dawes-Huish, chief executive of open-source specialist LinuxIT, thought the model would gain traction.
"This is seamless and transparent for customers as the various costs are attributed to each component," he said.
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