Partnership Shows New Route SPs Can Take To Become Cloud Providers

Building a cloud from scratch is a daunting technical and financial endeavor. But there's more than one way to join the ranks of cloud providers.

Many paths to providing self-branded cloud services don't involve expertise in designing cooling systems for hyper-scale data centers, leases on acres of land, or teams of virtualization specialists, as illustrated by a unique partnership between Egenera, a Boxborough, Mass. software developer, and Entatech, an IT distributor out of the UK.

Both companies have transformed their businesses of late to fulfill the needs of their channels in the cloud era, and together, they’re enabling thousands of MSPs to increase their cloud offerings

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Egenera, which made its mark over the last decade as a developer of software for provisioning and managing private clouds, launched Xterity, its white-label cloud service, in June.

Xterity enables Egenera’s partners to sell a managed cloud at a premium margin, said Pete Manca, president and CEO of Egenera.

"The folks we are targeting are those service providers who want to get higher margins than they can reselling Amazon, or want their own cloud but can't necessarily build their own or have the expertise to manage it," Manca told ITBestOfBreed.

Since Xterity came to market, Egenera has signed partnership agreements with more than 125 MSPs around the world, adding several every week, he said.

But the recently announced Entatech deal is unique in that it adds a second wholesale layer to the equation.

"This is a multi-tier distribution," Manca said. "One of the big advantages of the Xterity cloud is it's built for resellers and for multi-tier channel environments."

By piggy-backing on top of Xterity, the England-based distributor was able to quickly launch its own cloud — Entacloud — and make it available to the 5,000 resellers under its umbrella for them to brand as their own.

Entacloud was introduced to the market earlier this month.

Dave Stevinson, managing director at Entatech, told CRN that in launching a cloud, it was important for the company to offer its partners one they could white-label.

"Enabling the reseller to have their own brand of cloud was paramount to our offering," Stevinson said. 

Egenera's product, though new to the market, was selected as the foundation for Entacloud because it met or surpassed all of Entatech's requirements, he said.

Xterity made it possible for Entatech to provide a cloud platform to its resellers without requiring them to make an initial investment, Stevinson said.

Entatech suggested to those channel partners they put all the money they saved on their upfront infrastructure costs into sales and marketing, Stevinson said.

"No MSP can afford to ignore the cloud," Stevinson said. "Wise MSPs partner with the provider who can do all the heavy lifting, enabling them to focus efforts on driving revenue and the greatest return."