Blue Box has some more money to compete against other providers of on-demand, private-cloud-as-a-service offerings.
The Seattle-based company, which sells through partners, said on Tuesday that it has wrapped a financing round worth $14 million. Blue Box added a major investor – which it’s not ready to identify – but did say that it’s “one of the nation’s premier integrated telecommunications providers.” Perhaps of more interest to partners: Blue Box and this telco are planning a partnership that will allow the investor – and surely its partners – to deliver Blue Box cloud services to its customers.
Other Blue Box investors include venture-capital firms Voyager Capital and Founders Collective.
The company plans to use the money to fuel more product innovation. Blue Box expects to invest in new personnel for its engineering, sales and marketing, and business development teams. Some of the funding also will be used to expand its channel program.
The Blue Box cloud partner program is for VARs, IT consultants, service providers, cloud and telco brokers. It launched in September with three tiers: a Preferred Referral level designed for partners who refer prospects to Blue Box, whose sales teams collaborate with the partner; an Advanced Referral level for partners with an established cloud practice, where the partner works as an extension of Blue Box, identifying leads and working the deal all the way through to customer agreement; and a Premier Reseller level, where the channel program’s top-tier partners have access to turnkey private label/white label PCaaS for resale to their customers – available as “powered by Blue Box” or 100-percent private label.
Like many private-cloud-as-a-service offerings, Blue Box’s PCaaS runs on the OpenStack ecosystem. Businesses can get many of the same benefits they would get from a public cloud, only with better security and without turning over complete control of their IT environments. One drawback, TechTarget notes, is OpenStack’s steep learning curve.
“VC investment in the OpenStack ecosystem has been vibrant for some time now,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director, OpenStack Foundation. “What’s new is an emerging interest among service providers and other strategic investors who back companies with products built on OpenStack, with an eye toward reselling OpenStack-powered services to their existing customer bases. It’s a new milestone in the evolution and maturation of our platform.”
General availability of Blue Box Cloud was announced in May at the same time that Matthew Schlitz, former CEO of cloud platform Tier 3 – which CenturyLink acquired last year – was named chief executive of Blue Box.
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