Verio is expanding its business as a cloud services broker with a new focus on working with partners around the world. The NTT Communications subsidiary recently launched VerioCatalyst, an online marketplace for applications that is intended to provide partners with "innovative, cloud-based tools and services to meet the needs of their customers."

Verio is trying to differentiate itself from the growing number of cloud services brokers in the market with VerioCatalyst, which is aimed at telcos, service providers and channel partners. According to the company, it's a cost-effective way to reach SMBs that provides the ability to create bundled service offerings delivered through Verio's more than 140 locations around the world.

For partners, it's also a customizable sales portal that is intended to make it simple for end users to select, deploy and manage cloud-based services.

"Our experience shows us that SMBs around the world are consistently in need of solutions for security, mobility, communication and collaboration, marketing and ever-expanding online presence. VerioCatalyst makes it easy to create geographically pertinent and easy-to-understand bundles of products and services—in multiple currencies and languages—that are targeted exactly at the areas of highest need of our SMB customers," said Hideyuki Yamasawa, Verio's CEO, in a prepared statement.

What this truly represents is a large cloud services broker building a tool that helps to simplify the purchase and deployment of cloud services. And that's a step that every cloud services broker needs to consider—even if they don't have the resources of a global powerhouse such as Verio. It's hardly a secret that end customers want the simplest but most-effective way to buy and launch cloud services. Cloud services brokerage firms have the ability to do that if they think ahead and deploy the right kind of market place for their customers.