intY Launches Global Channel Marketplace ‘CASCADE’
BRISTOL, England and SEATTLE, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Hosting Summit — Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) specialist to the channel, intY, today announced the launch of CASCADE – a global, cloud-based platform that aggregates cloud services for resellers, service providers and vendors to market, sell and provision integrated communications technologies to end user organizations and through each other’s channels.
The platform, which currently features a range of unified communications and security services from application providers Microsoft, intY, Symantec, SIPCOM, and F-Secure, enables partners to quickly take-to-market new services to customers, helping increase their competitiveness, as well as contribute their own products and professional services for re-sale to the channel. Over 60 service provider partners have signed up to and are actively using CASCADE.
Bundled solutions are delivered under a single service level agreement, via one bill, with the assurance of contractual and licensing compliance. Partners can select services provisioned and hosted from data centers located in the most appropriate country to ensure data sovereignty is upheld.
Mark Herbert, business development director and architect of CASCADE, comments: “Unlike other first generation control panel systems, CASCADE is a channel eco-system where anyone can buy and anyone can sell. Resellers and vendors alike can drag and drop services, like an appstore, to provision bundled IT solutions for their customers, or re-sell their own services to other partners. It’s a highly collaborative sales environment that incorporates all the building blocks to sell, deploy and provision multi-vendor IT services, via the cloud, helping the channel identify and quickly pursue new markets and margins.
“CASCADE removes traditional barriers to generating new sales, such as a reseller’s ability to fulfill orders or the cost of bringing new services and products to market, disrupting the channel status quo and levelling the playing field.”
For agents, resellers and service providers, including fixed and mobile telecom operators, CASCADE offers immediate access to a large range of services and the capability to bespoke-build solutions for customers, without the associated capital outlay on infrastructure.
Application developers and vendors also benefit from gaining access to new and existing channels across domestic and global territories, with increased speed-to-market; these new services can be provisioned in under 48 hours. Products are pre-approved against strict security and compliance criteria, and agreed pricing models, which simplifies the purchase and deployment process.
Cloud security and storage services provider, Symantec, is the latest vendor to utilise CASCADE. The relationship enables intY and its partners to quickly and easily bundle Symantec services with other, interoperable products, in order to help meet the security, data protection, and service needs of customers.
ACG Research’s principal analyst for cloud and managed services, Lauren Robinette, commented on the value that CASCADE brings to the industry: “intY has a unique way of approaching cloud offers for service providers – making them instantly valuable to their subscribers by offering the high margin applications business are looking for. Powered by a popular set of applications, the engine takes away the risk of investment in cloud infrastructure from providers and adds differentiated value, making it a win-win for customers, providers and intY.”
Key features of the provisioning platform include:
- Interoperable connector architecture – Hosted on Microsoft Azure, CASCADE can support almost any cloud-based service, regardless of whether the application is hosted by intY, the customer or vendor’s infrastructure.
- Vendor contracts – Pre-negotiated commercial terms and licensing agreements for partners to quickly build and price solutions.
- Branded storefronts – Via their own branded ‘storefront’ partners can drag and drop services to create bundled solutions for customers, as well as upload services to the marketplace. Customers can also be provided secure, personalized access to self-serve products and services.
- Sales enablement – Full integration and marketing support with each CASCADE service to accelerate time-to-market and customer implementation.
- Billing – Integrated with partner’s own billing processes, to ensure simplicity of billing system and continuity of customer-partner relationship.
intY Ltd (intY) develops, integrates and delivers internet access security and business applications in a Cloud Computing model to Enterprise and SME customers through direct and indirect channels. The organisation was established in 1997 and has been at the forefront of ‘pay as you go’ managed IT and security services from its inception. intY’s intellectual property is extensive in both the deployment and management of security and application services on-demand and the cohesive management of these services. In 2010 intY was appointed as one of a handful of Microsoft Syndication Partners, allowing the direct billing of Office 365, providing the opportunity for market and channel innovation with Microsoft cloud services.