NetApp and its largest UK partner, Proact, have launched a programme designed to shatter the barrier of entry for ISVs looking to move into SaaS.
According to Gartner, two thirds (66 per cent) of ISVs will offer their applications optionally or exclusively as SaaS this year – but the upfront investment required in becoming a service provider can be off-putting.
Proact's programme, which is "powered by" NetApp, allows ISVs to circumvent this by using its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Jason Clark, chief executive of Proact UK, told ChannelWeb: "They could go to a co-location facility and put in their own kit but they would still need to specify it, select the technology, procure, support and manage it.
"We are offering the ability to circumvent that entire process. Operating hardware is not core to an ISV's business and this allows them to concentrate on what is important to them. It also enables them to take advantage of technology advances over time."
The Proact name officially came into being in the UK last month, nine months after the Sweden-based integrator acquired NetApp Star partner B2Net.
Clark said Proact is twice as large as any other UK NetApp partner.
"We are excited that NetApp has seen significant enough value in this to put its brand behind it and make an official programme out of it," he said.
Pete Rawden, partner sales director, UK & Ireland at NetApp, said: "This is a way for ISVs to develop a SaaS model without becoming a service provider, which would be a big additional cost to them. Proact has a strong track record of delivering this to the ISV community already."
Despite billing itself as a cloud specialist, Proact opted not to tender for the government's new G-Cloud framework, citing concerns over its format. Yesterday, G-Cloud programme director Christ Chant responded to an open letter from the integrator outlining its objections.
"By responding, he validated a lot of the comments we made," said Clark, adding that he believed Proact was two years ahead of rival integrators in the journey to the cloud.
"We are extremely pleased he took the time to give us his feedback and are looking forward to continuing those conversations."
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