Courting The Channel: Xterity Cloud Services
24 September 2015 | 0
In the eight years since it was founded as an Enterprise Ireland High Performance Start-Up (HPSU), Xterity Cloud Services has relied heavily on channel partners to fuel its success. Since its acquisition in 2012 by multinational cloud services, cloud management and converged infrastructure company Egenera, it has worked ever more closely with IT managed service providers and application service providers to achieve an average of 30% growth quarter-on-quarter.
“We depend on the channel,” says sales manager Fergal Quigley. “Resellers bring the value-add for the customer and manage everything from the operating system, the application and the data layer. Xterity guarantees the underlying infrastructure availability and connectivity with a strong and clear financially backed SLA.”
Although it is owned by a global company which employs over 150 staff worldwide, manages mission critical systems for more than 1,000 customers, and has technology partnerships with the likes of Citrix, Dell, EMC, HP, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and Red Hat, Xterity Cloud Services is focused purely on the Irish market.
“With our infrastructure only hosted in Tier 3+ data centres in Ireland. Resellers have the guarantee and assurance of local jurisdiction data for their customers to address their data compliance requirements” – Fergal Quigley
The company delivers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), virtual private cloud services, and a range of other ‘as-a-service’ offerings through the partner channel. Unlike some of its competitors, the channel-only white-labelled IaaS private cloud platform is hosted in secure, redundant data centres in Ireland and the company guarantees that data is always located in this country.
“The Irish operations are a standalone business,” Quigley stresses, “with our infrastructure only hosted in Tier 3+ data centres in Ireland. Resellers have the guarantee and assurance of local jurisdiction data for their customers to address their data compliance requirements.”
Xterity Cloud Services describes its flagship product, PAN Cloud Director, as “unique” software that sits on top of the hypervisor and provides complete on-demand cloud management. It includes a partner portal and designer with a graphical drag-and-drop interface that enables partners to design and self-provision complete back-office IT environments online for their customers. PCD encompasses the complete sales cycle, providing real-time pricing, quotations, deployment, monitoring, billing, reporting and the ongoing management of customer IT environments.
The designer element allows users to select from a catalogue of IT resources such as servers, CPU, memory, storage, operating systems, business applications, firewalls, switches, networking, external services etc, press ‘build’ and have an environment “ready to use in minutes”.
Quigley believes the private cloud platform is “a fantastic opportunity for resellers to deliver a premium-level of cloud services to SME and enterprise customers” and helps them to “quickly build a new line of business with cloud services. Xterity enables resellers to deliver a branded, highly available, fully managed cloud service and deploy mission-critical applications into the cloud in minutes, with guaranteed SLAs at competitive pricing and unparalleled customer service”.
He is quick to add that Xterity’s “wholesale pricing ensures abundant margins for resellers, with built-in reseller margin a core part of PCD. Compared to other cloud competitors in the market, Xterity provides a very simple and clear way of pricing cloud environments that is competitive and fixed monthly cost”.
Building on its existing services, the company has implemented a plan for 2015/2016 with an emphasis on business continuity, launching disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) and backup-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings. The company has gone into partnership with Renaissance Continuity Services to develop the services in Ireland. Quigley says they are “proving very attractive and competitive, with plenty of margin scope for the reseller”.
DRaaS is a constant data protection (CDP) service, maintaining full backup of pre-identified servers constantly. The service is fully-managed with aggressive recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) as standard, to suit all business needs. It enables customers to protect server operations without the need to duplicate hardware, software, licences or develop skills for disaster recovery configuration or management.
BaaS is provided for the backup of servers located in a private on-premise data centre , or for customers with computing solutions already in an Xterity data centre, or for backups between Xterity data centres.
Quigley stresses that these offerings are very simple for resellers to adopt. “We make it very straightforward and painless for the reseller to set-up DRaaS and BaaS, for on-premises-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud customers on Xterity,” he reveals. “These are fully managed services and resellers like that aspect.”
He claims that other offerings in the market, such as Microsoft Azure, “leave it entirely the responsibility of the reseller to design and orchestrate a DRaaS solution – making the success and maintenance of the DR service solely the responsibility of the reseller”. In addition, Xterity has full access to the back-end stack, “allowing virtual and physical servers to be recovered from issues that services such as Microsoft Azure cannot help you with”.
Further afield, Egenera has started to roll out the Xterity Cloud Services brand on a global scale with Equinix data centres. This should enable partners that require it to take advantage of Platform Equinix’s global footprint, high performance connectivity options and global supply-chain ecosystems to deliver cloud solutions that meet performance, reliability and cost requirements.
Asked why Irish resellers should opt to partner with Xterity, Quigley replies: “Irish resellers see an opportunity to grow their revenues by selling cloud services but they often have concerns such as staff skills to sell and support cloud. Xterity has continuous engagement with resellers to educate and support them in delivering and supporting cloud services so they can achieve their cloud revenue ambitions.”
He stresses that the company wants to “raise our profile in the IT reseller channel in 2015/2016” building on the “established long-term trust relationships” it already has “with channel partners that value our experience, our technical depth, and the fact we have a strong understanding of the needs of the organisations they are selling to”.
Xterity will continue to expand its strategic partners, product portfolio offering and managed services, Quigley adds. “We are on track to continue to meet our quarter-on-quarter growth for 2015. Primarily, our continued focus is to deal with the partner channel here in Ireland. Unlike other vendors out there, our business is focused entirely on the reseller community – their success ensures our success.”