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Cloud Storage Prompts Rise of ‘Accidental’ Cloud VAR

Cloud storage

Edward GatelyThe emerging trend of companies placing all of their unstructured file data in cloud storage has led to what’s becoming known in the channel as the “accidental cloud VAR.”

That’s according to Barry Phillips, chief marketing officer of Panzura, which enables companies to centralize all of that unstructured data in cloud storage, whether public or private clouds. The company works with cloud storage partners and resellers.

According to the results of 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise survey, the proportion of spending on public-cloud storage services will at least double over the next two years, largely at the expense of traditional, on-premises storage.

“When you think of just the enterprise storage market in general, a huge part of that is going up to the cloud,” Phillips said. “And this is the same with apps out there and all kinds of different things, and the question becomes how do channel providers – ones who traditionally are so good at selling essentially hardware and on-premises software – how do they react to this?”{ad}

This is a tough time for some traditional infrastructure VARs to “make that turn to be more cloud-first,” he said. However, Panzura is enabling a lot of app VARs to become cloud VARs, he said.

“I just talked with a customer recently and they were talking about the fact that they were working on a stadium for a very large university and what they needed to do was fly people from their other three offices into their fourth office to have enough manpower to complete this particular thing,” Phillips said. “So what they did is they put in Panzura, which was able to keep the people in their offices that they were regularly in, but they all worked on that file together.”

Panzura has about 250 architectural engineering construction (AEC) customers, and because of the problems it’s solving, they are becoming cloud-first customers, “and then accordingly the people that have traditionally sold them Autodesk software now are starting to sell them cloud controllers and they’re actually really becoming cloud VARs almost by accident,” he said.

“Their purpose in this was to solve a productivity problem for their customers, but by doing so they’re leveraging cloud storage and essentially cross-site collaboration enabled by that cloud storage,” Phillips said. “This is how these companies make …

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… money and it’s all up in the cloud, and these VARs are actually what is enabling this piece to happen.”

It all starts with solving a business problem, which results in putting all of their infrastructure into the cloud, he said.

“As other cross-site collaboration opportunities really drive solving the business problem, then you will really see more and more things go to the cloud,” Phillips said. “These guys are VARs, but they’re actually really, really strong app VARs, and it’s that app that really drives that VAR to be a cloud VAR.”

In January, Microsol Resources announced its partnership with Panzura. It provides software and consulting for AEC clients with collaboration and storage needs.

“As a VAR focused on design and construction firms, we see cloud storage and cloud collaboration as the next logical step for our clients,” said Emilio Krausz, Microsol Resources’ president. “Panzura is a perfect fit for our clientele. It elegantly solves the latency issue design and construction firms face when multiple sites need to collaborate on large files. While doing so, Panzura also addresses the typical challenges of today’s growing firms, such as disaster recovery, secure low-cost backup and archiving, to name a few.”


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