Artisan Infrastructure, the wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, has announced open enrolment in the Certified Solution Ecosystem of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). Designed to facilitate a direct relationship between Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and ISVs, the Certified Solution Ecosystem expedites the selection, adoption, and deployment of software solutions already certified to perform on Cornerstone(SM), Artisan Infrastructure's wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
"In the infrastructure world, certified solutions and strategic alliances are typically synonymous with reseller, OEM or agent relationships. We designed our Certified Solution Ecosystem to be a truly strategic, and solution agnostic, environment," said Steve Williams, VP, Business Development, Artisan Infrastructure. "By disassociating ourselves from the financial transactions between the ISV and MSP, Artisan Infrastructure is able to maintain a federated approach and uniquely neutral role when consulting on software solutions that suit the MSP's specific requirements. Furthermore, because we do not resell these solutions, our MSP partners Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is reduced, while their profits and 'stickiness' with end clients is maximized."
Since January 2011, membership in the Certified Solution Ecosystem has been available by invitation only. To date, CA Technologies, Mitel, Asigra, 2X, AppNeta, NetEx, MokaFive, Beatty & Company, and StorageCraft have certified software products. As a result, the Managed Service Provider (MSP) channel can now engage directly with Certified Solution Partners to deliver their self-branded VoIP, backup & recovery, virtual desktop, security, print/document management, and application delivery as a cloud-based service built on Cornerstone. Dozens of additional ISVs are currently undergoing certification. With the introduction of open enrollment, 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Artisan Infrastructure and the MSP channel.
"The Artisan Infrastructure Certified Solution Ecosystem fits perfectly with CA Technologies' emphasis on offering powerful data protection solutions through MSPs and the channel," said John LaCorte, Senior Director, Data Management, CA Technologies. "Quick trial and deployment of our CA ARCserve solutions on Artisan Infrastructure is accelerating adoption of cloud-enabled applications."
Artisan Infrastructure's approach represents a significant departure from the way software solutions are generally delivered by infrastructure providers. While most infrastructure providers are actually, or also, solution providers, Artisan Infrastructure eliminates channel conflict with MSPs through a strict policy of not reselling any software solutions, thus empowering MSP partners to become the solution provider themselves; offering various software solutions branded under their own name. And while every MSP client has the autonomy to bring their solution of choice, previously certified solutions instill confidence in software vendor selection. Additionally, Artisan Infrastructure's Certified Solution Ecosystem provides certified software vendors visibility to the embedded customer base, and publicly, through a dedicated web page and co-marketing initiatives.
"We are seeing demand for cloud-powered Unified Communications (UC) applications steadily increasing," said Stephen Brown, VP, Field Business Development, Mitel. "Artisan Infrastructure's vendor-neutral Certified Solution Ecosystem provides an enterprise-grade, on-demand, and scalable platform to support our advanced business communications solutions. The certified templates enabled through Artisan Infrastructure's Certified Solution Ecosystem increase the speed of deployment of our productivity enhancing applications offered through the channel, significantly reducing the time to market for our UC solutions."
"Deployment of a traditional premise-based solution for a typical customer can take up to 30 days from order to completion," said Mark Kruger of Virtutel, a Mitel VAR who delivers hosted call center solutions. "With the Mitel virtual apps available via Artisan Infrastructure's Certified Solution Ecosystem we can now deploy an equivalent virtualized solution in less than a day."
Previously, only the largest Service Providers (SPs) could build and offer broad product portfolios because of the massive capital investment requirements and daunting nature of such an undertaking. For smaller MSPs the deterrents included:
- Engineering resources and technical knowhow required to evaluate various vendor solutions and concern over unproven solutions
- Technical complexity of the solutions that required advanced engineering skill sets for solution certifications and architectural design
- Expensive infrastructure resources to build, test and trial complex solutions
The new program by Artisan Infrastructure invests the capital and provides the technical skill set to make a wide array of applications available to smaller SPs, thereby eliminating the above mentioned barriers to entry. Artisan Infrastructure's Certified Solution Ecosystem empowers smaller SPs by:
- Making them more agile and significantly reducing their Time to Market (TTM)
- Making complex architectures simpler
- Enhancing simplicity via "templated" solution deployment
- Providing solution specific technical and sales training
"Artisan Infrastructure is committed to doing the R&D to certify ISV partner solutions that are compatible with Cornerstone and operate within our channel," said Rob Bruce, CEO, All Mountain Technology. "Given the support resources that Artisan Infrastructure commits to this effort and the leverage Artisan has with ISVs, I would much rather work with Artisan Infrastructure Certified Solution Ecosystem Partners than to put our company at risk with unproven solutions."
Certified Solutions Ecosystem enrolment requirements include:
- Proprietary Software - Only proprietary software vendors will be considered. No OEM, resellers, or service providers will be accepted. Applying vendors must own the intellectual property.
- Service Provider programs - Qualified participants must support the channel through service provider type licensing and a channel focused support mechanism.
- Vendor Certification - Vendors will be provided infrastructure resources for certification purposes, to be leveraged as a demo environment, and for maintenance of public solution templates. The vendors themselves are expected to engage directly in certification and maintenance of their environment.