Talk, Target and Deliver: Those are the three pillars of cloud computing that Parallels Vice President of Alliances John Zanni says are essential to help service providers deliver hosted services. They're three ideas that the virtualization and automation provider has used to expand its presence since its founding in 1999 from its headquarters in Washington state, to 125 countries, 5,000 hosting clients and roughly 12 million end-users today.

Parallels' latest initiative? Helping start-up hosting businesses go to market more quickly. Zanni explained to me what the Parallels' three pillars actually stand for, and why it decided to announce its start-up hosting service in Asia-Pacific.

"Talk means letting clients talk to industry experts to understand what services they need to meet client needs," Zanni explained. "Target means giving service providers the information to understand how to offer the right service, at the right price, to the right customer. Deliver means using automation to make products easy for clients to consume and easy for service providers to sell, resell and bundle hosted services to go to market very quickly."

Parallels is broken up into two business:

  1. A desktop virtualization solution that allows businesses to run Windows on a Mac. This accounts for one-third of Parallels' business.

  2. A cloud delivery platform that lets service providers sell hosted services. This accounts for two-thirds of Parallels' business. "We meet the needs of SMBs," Zanni said. "We're not a hoster. We have software designed for hosters of all sizes."

At the end of June 2011, Parallels announced a new initiative in Asia-pacific that enables hosters to leverage the benefits of the Parallels Business Automation Standard (BPAS) with no license cost and no initial fee. The service is free for hosters below $8,000 in monthly revenue. Parallels will then charge a 2 percent revenue fee after the $8,000 limit. "Asia was the right place for the announcement because there are a lot of small hosting businesses getting started there," Zanni said. The offer also includes free use of Parallels Plesk Panel and Parallels Virtuozzo for three months.

Announcements to come

Parallels is preparing to announce a new partnership with Microsoft; the news should debut at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC, July 10-14, Los Angeles). According to Zanni, Parallels has been working closely with Microsoft for the last year and already supports Microsoft BPOS and has incorporated Microsoft Hyper-V into its automation software. We expect more details at the conference.

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