A cloud "buying group" designed to help resellers profit from economies of scale and win cloud wallet share in the mid-market has been launched.
Cascade is a cloud-based platform that aggregates cloud services from a number of vendors including Microsoft, Symantec and F-Secure as well as intY, the cloud services provider behind it.
It is designed to enable resellers and service providers to bundle cloud solutions under a single service level agreement, via one bill and with the assurance of contractual and licensing compliance.
Chris Baldock, chief executive at intY (pictured below), argued the cloud market is not panning out the way the big application vendors wanted it to.
He told ChannelWeb: "They visualised it would be a direct model, primarily SMB-focused and primarily a single application delivery. Four or five years ago they believed they could set up a website and that everyone would sign up and they would be rich, but it did not transpire that way."
Instead, the cloud market has gravitated quickly towards the channel, enterprise customers and multiple applications, said Baldock, a trend into which he claimed Cascade taps.
"A mid-market customer may be taking a minimum of seven or eight cloud applications such as Exchange, Lync, desktop security, mail security, filtering and CRM," he said. "They want one touch and the opportunity for the channel is to pick up that requirement. That opportunity will not be there for the application vendors, which are restricted to their own applications."
Baldock claimed that due to economies of scale, Cascade already offers applications at lower price points than if an end user were to buy them direct from the vendor. Some 80 channel partners and 12 service providers already use Cascade, which is hosted on Microsoft Azure.
But like a buying group, the price points will continue to improve, he said.
"The more applications we put on and the more channel partners and service providers we get, the bigger the buying group and the more bundles we can do and the lower the cost base," explained Baldock.
Cascade will also help smaller resellers that have previously struggled to win business in the enterprise segment move upstream, added Baldock, for instance by helping them assemble proposals for large tenders.
"The barrier to smaller resellers in software as a product is high if not impossible," he said. "We are saying you can punch above your weight and supply services to the mid-market. Cascade gives you all the stepping stones from a go-to-market perspective to do that."
The lines between suppliers and buyers on Cascade are blurred, Baldock stressed, with resellers able to supply consulting services through the platform.
"It is a generation apart from first-generation control panels," he said.
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