Cloud computing specialist OneNet is actively recruiting partners to capitalise on the recent upswing in the technology’s momentum.
Managing director Michael Snowden says the company wants to add to its base of between 10 and 15 resellers as cloud computing has come of age.
“Even two years ago we would have been far too early. We’ve been working towards this for 10 years and when large vendors focus their efforts on [a technology area], it legitimises it. Microsoft and Google and doing this for the cloud.”
OneNet resisted a cloud push until it became more prevalent, but Snowden says it has been preparing for the technology’s maturity by building the company brand through radio advertising for the past eight years.
“My whole intention was to build a brand so when cloud takes off we’ll come to mind.”
Most of the current partners are smaller companies, but Snowden says there is no limit to the number of partners it might work with.
“These resellers have an established market. We won’t build a 10,000 person sales force. We want to provide the product and service so they’re comfortable introducing OneNet to clients. They manage the customer relationship and provide the onsite support.”
Two years ago it didn’t make any revenue through channel partners, but these sales now comprise three to four percent of its revenue, says Snowden. He could see this growing to 90 percent within five years.
The company recently communicated with a sample of 350 local resellers, and Snowden says about 25 percent were very interested in partnering with OneNet, while 50 percent were “watching the space”.
Snowden says although most vendors are adding cloud to their portfolios, OneNet is purely a cloud specialist. One point of difference he claims, is its ability to support a variety of existing IT environments and software platforms.
“Most firms have old software and don’t want to change it unless there is a compelling reason to do so.”
In addition, OneNet has hired highly-qualified staff that mid-size firms wouldn’t be able to attract, so is “democratising those skills” among companies that choose to outsource to OneNet via the cloud, says Snowden.
Snowden has already written The CEO’s Guide to Cloud Computing, and plans to write a second book, The Business Owner’s Guide to Cloud Computing, for smaller firms of up 100 users. Resellers can recommend the CEO’s guide to clients to further understanding of cloud computing and introduce OneNet as a partner, says Snowden.
The company offers computing capacity, backup, hosted Microsoft Exchange, hosted Sharepoint, hosted CRM, OneNet antivirus and cloud computing.
Real IT began partnering with OneNet about two years ago and has now signed up about 10 users of OneNet’s hosted Exchange offering. Director Kyle Greig says it has about 250 smaller customers on its books that would be receptive to adopting more cloud offerings.
“Real IT started out by servicing small businesses and home users. For a lot of the smaller companies or people that are mobile, cloud tends to be what they’re doing.”
Snowden has previously established Financial Systems, a systems integrator, and a software company The Great Elk, which provided CRM for multinationals from its local base. The Great Elk Company launched a CRM-as-a-service product in the US in 1999.