Most VARs and systems integrators make their foray into the cloud by offering data backup, hosted Exchange, and/or selling SaaS (software as a service) offerings. After gaining a comfort level with the cloud, some service providers take the next step, which is building solutions in the cloud, a service that’s known as PaaS (platform as a service).
PaaS is an outgrowth of SaaS and offers several advantages for developers and MSPs. With PaaS, operating system features can be changed and upgraded frequently, geographically distributed development teams can work together on software development projects, and services can be obtained from diverse sources that cross international boundaries. Additionally, initial and ongoing costs can be reduced by the use of infrastructure services from a single vendor rather than maintaining multiple hardware facilities that often perform duplicate functions or suffer from incompatibility problems.
Ever wonder how open your SMB customers would be to moving more of their IT infrastructure to the cloud? Consider this: According to a recent study conducted by Microsoft, titled “SMB Business in the Cloud 2012”, 44% of SMBs that reported being in a state of growth believe that cloud computing can make their businesses more competitive. What’s more, nearly one-third (32%) worry that their competitors may be making better use of technology than they are and 60% say they don’t have sufficient resources to implement new technologies and apps.
PaaS addresses these SMB concerns because it eliminates the capital expenses SMBs normally face with platform and infrastructure investments, plus it allows them the flexibility to make adjustments to their IT deployments with minimal costs.
MSPs and software developers looking to sell PaaS have several options to consider. Here are a few to consider:
1. Use the apps on the channel marketplace and/or apps on any participating service provider’s own marketplace to receive the related PaaS subscription recurring revenue.
2. Design, create, and implement custom apps on a PaaS platform for a specific customer’s business use, where the IP (intellectual property) of the solution stays with the customer, to receive the related PaaS subscription recurring revenue opportunities.
3. Design, create, and deploy custom app “packages” on a PaaS platform, where the IP of the solution stays with the systems integrator that developed it and place the apps on one or more of these marketplaces for public resale by other VARs, to receive related recurring revenue on their SaaS applications running on the PaaS platform.
4. Design, create, and implement highly adaptable business processes through the PaaS platform’s workflow and approval engine and functionality to receive the related PaaS subscription recurring revenue.
5. Move a customer into its first wave of mission-critical cloud solutions by employing the PaaS platform’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to integrate with and/or run various existing business applications cross-system end-to-end processes and receive the related PaaS subscription recurring revenue.