What is a cloud services brokerage (CSB) or a cloud services aggregator (CSA)? Here's a refresher course and a look at three solutions in the market: Green Cloud Technologies, Nuvotera and VerioCatalyst.
The number of cloud services brokerages (CSBs) and aggregators (CSAs) across the globe continues to grow rapidly. The latest companies we're tracking include Green Cloud Technologies, Nuvotera and VerioCatalyst. For VARs, MSPs and customers trying to source and manage multiple cloud applications, the CSB and CSA trends are worth watching closely. Here's why.
Generally speaking, CSAs offer a single dashboard for partners or customers to find, activate and manage multiple cloud applications. Often, the dashboards include pricing and billing management capabilities. An example is Ingram Micro Cloud. CSBs, in contrast, are next-generation resellers that integrate multiple cloud applications for customers. An example is Cloud Sherpas, which manages Google Apps, Salesforce.com and ServiceNow migrations for customers.
Talkin' Cloud's list of CSAs and CSBs (as of Nov. 21, 2013) now spans about 35 companies. The latest additions we've spotted include:
1. Green Cloud Technologies: Based in Greenville, SC, the company sounds more like a traditional cloud services provider -- offering virtual servers, network services and disaster recovery capabilities to channel partners and end-customers. But Green Cloud pinged us and said, "yes indeed -- we're a CSB." And it sounds like more partner program moves are coming. Randy Friedberg shifted to a new position -- VP of strategic relations -- in September 2013 to drive those partner engagements.
2. Nuvotera: Now here's a CSA with an interesting back-story. Nuvotera (formerly Spam Soap) was founded by inhouseIT, a top MSP in southern California. At first, the Spam Soap business focused on anti-spam and other email protection services, working closely with McAfee. But over the past two years or so, Nuvotera has been developing a value-added SaaS distribution platform to help channel partners source and manage multiple cloud applications. Naturally, McAfee applications are among the first offerings on the NuvoConnex Management Portal, which launched in November 2013. But more are coming.
3. VerioCatalyst: Verio claims this is an "an enterprise-grade Cloud-Based Software Brokerage Platform" that helps partners deliver integrated solutions to the SMB market in a "seamless, scalable and easy-to-customize environment." Talkin' Cloud first heard about VerioCatalyst in September 2013. And we're curious to know how the service has been performing over the past two months -- especially considering Verio's ability to reach more than 140 locations worldwide.
Careful of the Hype
Talkin' Cloud believes the CSA and CSB trends are real. But be careful of all the hype. We don't know which platforms are truly profitable. Nor do we know which platforms are built to scale as more VARs and MSPs climb onboard. While we don't specifically endorse any specific CSA or CSB, you can check out the companies we're tracking here: http://www.TalkinCloud.com/csb.
Also, to have your company potentially added to to the list, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include the subject line "Cloud Services Brokerage: Add My Company to the List."
We'll continue to track this trend -- plus the associated opportunities and challenges -- as long as we keep hearing chatter from our readers about the CSB and CSA waves.