From The Expert Feature Article
June 21, 2013

independenceIT Crafts Artisan Infrastructure IaaS Collaboration

independenceIT, all on its own, makes its fair share of MSP news. But it doesn’t always hog the limelight, half the time I cover this outfit they are talking about partners.

This week is no exception. This week independenceIT hooked up with Artisan Infrastructure (News - Alert) to blend that company’s IaaS with virtual desktop software from independenceIT (iIT).

Under the deal, MSPs can white label both the Cloud Workspace Suite virtual desktop and Artisan’s wholesale IaaS, and sell it all as a single offering.

 “iIT’s strategic relationship with Artisan Infrastructure offers our partners the freedom to embrace cloud solutions with confidence and the opportunity to stay in control of the client relationship in order to offer the best service and the most profitable programs,” said Seth Bostock, executive vice president of iIT. “We are looking forward to our plans for jointly educating the channel and to our new relationship.”

Artisan, an IaaS wholesaler and does not itself delve into managed services, believes the partner-first approach is a work of art – and partners are right where the services belong.

“We believe that ‘channel-only’ relationships are increasingly important in the cloud software and services space,” said Woodie Wallace, director, strategic alliances, Artisan Infrastructure. “We are delighted to move ahead with iIT and look forward to educating our base about iIT’s comprehensive DaaS solution.”

iIT Revamps DaaS

Recently iIT revamped it Cloud Workspace desktop as a service. After more than ten years delivering this DaaS, iIT launched a new version of its Cloud Workspace, a virtual suite that supports Microsoft (News - Alert) Office and Exchange and lets service providers and clients get at e-mail, applications and files over a private MPLS network or the Internet.

Many of the enhancements surround deployment. The company claims the tool can be up and running and delivering virtual desktops in mere minutes.

The new suite is essentially hypervisor agnostic, working equally well with tools from Microsoft, VMware and Citrix. It works automatically with an array of partner tools, particularly remote monitoring and management (RMM). Top partners include N-able (News - Alert) (now owned by SolarWinds), LabTech (now recruiting N-able partners) and Connectwise.

Cloud Workspace supports a wider variety of applications. In fact, the vendor claims that more than 400 programs are already pre-virtualized. Once the customer proves they have a valid software license, these apps can be quickly deployed via the suite.

On the administration side, there is a remote interface that works with Microsoft Active Directory to set up access controls and for provisioning. It also now supports screen sharing.

“The awareness and demand for virtualization in the SMB market is rapidly expanding and creating challenges for channel sales, but Cloud Workspace solves these problems and gives the channel the immediate ability to capitalize on the needs of the market,” claimed Seth Bostock, executive vice president for independenceIT.

School is in Session

Also in recent news, iIT launched iIT University (iIT U) to which all existing partners are automatically enrolled and offers MSP training.

The curriculum includes marketing, with materials such as case studies, training and consulting to “determine how cloud services fit within their current portfolio, and helps partners develop attractive cloud services offerings that create new income opportunities,” the company explained.

One student is already grateful. “The sales and marketing templates that independenceIT provided saved us thousands of dollars in development and legal costs,” said Connecting Point President Ted Warner. “Working with independenceIT is a strategic advantage because we not only receive a sophisticated technology delivered within an elegant interface, but also the training and materials necessary to sell it effectively.”

Time to Partner Up

Artisan is far from the only iIT partner. In fact independenceIT has been crafting an array of partnerships, some of which are reflected by the new integrations in Cloud Workspace. The latest version supports N-able for RMM and service automation, a partnership forged in recent months. In the same timeframe, independenceIT hooked up with Autotask for service desk, project management, tech scheduling, billing and reporting, and customer relationship management (CRM).

The MSP space independenceIT explores is not exactly, but is growing nicely.

“Industry analyst firm Gartner (News - Alert) has said repeatedly that the current IT services model is changing. In fact, they state that IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and BPaaS (business process as a service) will grow 13.1 percent and 47.3 percent in 2013,” said Jim Lippie, EVP, business development, iIT.

Edited by Ashley Caputo