Managed service opportunity: Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas)
Hosting enterprise desktops has traditionally been a market for big players like IBM and Microsoft, but smaller managed services players can compete as well
Providing virtual access to user desktops on an enterprise-wide scale – so called desktop-as-a-service, or DaaS – has typically been a service provided by large, infrastructure-focused managed services players.
But the recent announcement that MetraTech (a charging, billing and settlement company) would be monetizing Nervogrid destkop-as-a-service offerings demonstrates how cloud computing provides a real opportunity to level the playing field for smaller IT companies.
“We feel this announcement somewhat validates the cloud model as a boost to smaller companies wanting to sell email, desktop and other DaaS services through multiple channels, without burdening their own infrastructure,” said Doug Zone, CTO of Metratech. “This shows the cloud model is ‘fungible, as you no longer have to be the size of a Microsoft or IBM to act as a provider of IT services to major customers.”
Telecom service providers have been turning to managed services in areas including security and storage to increase the amount of revenue they can wrest for their traditional voice and data customers.
With DaaS, users typically access applications through a hosted system, and service providers control the back-end responsibilities of data storage, upgrades and security. Computing power is provided in a metered fashion and paid on a per-usage basis.
With DaaS, it seems larger players have something to gain in bolstering their channel-based approaches. “In this announcement, DaaS broadens the reach for Microsoft, as it can syndicate its services and products through smaller players like Nervogrid,” says Zone.
In the case of Nervogrid, the company sells a platform strategy to SMEs by providing a .NET service delivery platform as its delivery channel. That means the company can sell Exchange and Microsoft services, as well as others, through its SDP offering, without having to actually run them on its own infrastructure. The IT services are centrally produced and managed in Nervogrid's datacenters and delivered to customers over a network. Services are subscription-based and clients only pay for what they use, whether it is by the number of users, worksites or gigabytes. Services are fully scalable from a single user to multi-site environments with hundreds of users.
“It’s transparent to end customers; to them, a cloud is a cloud, and they don’t care if it’s a big or small company behind it,” says Zone.
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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