ThinkGrid unlocks Private Cloud for the Channel

ThinkGrid has launched a private cloud solution for the channel partners who want to build their own cloud infrastructure to deliver services to customers. The solution helps resellers and service providers accelerate their cloud strategy by removing the burden of developing and managing a cloud platform and infrastructure whilst enjoying the benefits of high margin and recurring revenues this model of IT services brings.

“Channel partners have seen tremendous value in using our cloud platform to deliver a range of new services to their customers. At the same time we found that some resellers also wanted to go it alone and create their own cloud offering but often found this to be an immense and complex task due to the expertise and cost needed to develop and implement such a solution. In the way some vendors will build private or internal cloud for businesses, we are offering a private cloud solution for the channel,” said Rob Lovell, CEO at ThinkGrid. “Having built our own cloud platform from the ground up, we know what it takes to create a reliable and scalable infrastructure serving thousands and thousands of end users. Some people think it’s just about virtualisation, but there is a lot more too this. You need to be able to automate the provisioning and billing and make sure it’s all seamless. Our platform does this. Resellers benefit from our proven platform, which is based on a range of interoperable standards and technologies. This also means partners have complete flexibility when it comes to the infrastructure that underpins their cloud offering.”

Instead of paying a one-off licensing and consulting fee, the ThinkGrid Private Cloud solution is purchased as part of an ongoing monthly contract with a minimum revenue commitment. Partners simply decide what types of services they want to offer and at what price. ThinkGrid creates the entire platform, including the provisioning and billing system. A team of consultants will first assess requirements by reviewing the infrastructure within a partner’s datacentre to determine the overall cloud platform specifications. ThinkGrid then overlays its platform including a full range of services such as Hosted Virtual Desktop, Exchange, VoIP, Software-as-a-Service and Virtual Server Infrastructure. Once installed, ThinkGrid then manages the day-to-day running of the Private Cloud including installing any bespoke cloud services that a partner is looking to offer. This ensures resellers can focus on what they do best – educating and recruiting customers.

In fact, recent figures from Gartner have found that 39 per cent of businesses currently allocate IT budget to cloud computing as a key priority, while 46 per cent of businesses with existing cloud budgets are planning to increase cloud services from external providers by 2011.

Lovell continued: “There’s clearly an increasing appetite for cloud services and subsequently a huge amount of opportunity for the channel. In the future, we envision there being a vast ecosystem of public and private clouds allowing channel partners to find innovative approaches for increasing value and margin. For example, our private cloud partners will invariably experience times where there is excess capacity in their data centre. We in turn could consider buying back some of this excess resource to help increase capacity for a partner who needs to fulfil a surge in demand for our public cloud services. This is only the beginning but already you can see how cloud services in general carry a massive amount of potential in securing the long term prosperity of the channel.”

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