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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alex Osipov, CTO of OS33 (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2012

Sramana Mitra: That’s what I was trying to get at, extracting the essence of your business. I think “cloud services brokerage across multiple legacy systems” sounds like a reasonable description of the essence of what you do. Correct?

Alex Osipov: I wouldn’t just say legacy because we support all the cloud storage options nowadays. We’re good at legacy because we built the platform over a period of 10 years. We’ve put a lot of knowledge into operating legacy. Because we have a big scale, we have so many MSPs across so many different verticals, we’ve actually been able to put further knowledge into it. For the last two and a half years, we’ve been integrating cloud services. So, we’re learning a lot as well.

SM: Final question. Whom do you compete with? Is it companies like Appirio?

AO: What we sell, it’s either build it yourself or go to OS33. We haven’t seen a real competitor. There have been pieces of what we do all over the place. There’s definitely someone who does data, someone who does email, someone who does applications, but we haven’t seen a single unified solution that comes anywhere close to what we do. I think that’s because we got started a little early. It was definitely more challenging to sell three years ago what we were doing. Now, we’ve latched on to a much easier time. There hasn’t been that one single provider, so most of the people we speak to are stuck in the place where they want to do it themselves. Most of them struggle because they don’t have the expertise; they don’t have the money to invest in it because it does take a lot [of money]. And there are some that just do it piecemeal. They say, “Oh, we’ll go to Office 365, but we’ll keep doing this on our own and manage it.” That’s who we’re competing with today. There isn’t a specific vendor that has exactly what we have or even close to what we have.

SM: Probably, your go-to-market strategy of working with managed services providers also is somewhat different from the go-to-market strategies of most who are playing in the integration and cloud services brokerage area.

AO: Most of these integration services focuses on the programmers, and they integrate platform-as-a-service. They can get your software on Amazon. They can get it on Rackspace. They’re very line-of-business specific. Most of them have been very focused on technology.

We’re different. We’ve been focusing on the end user. So, the actual company’s using it. We started as a small company and grew into a much larger company. We learned a lot: what it takes to deliver to a five-user company and what it takes to deliver to a 3,000-user company are completely different things. Our strength is our MSPs. They help us get to know the customers and deliver what they need. A customer can evolve with us. If you’re using Exchange today and want to use Google Apps tomorrow, we offer that. We actually have better pricing sometimes because we are an aggregator. So, you can actually evolve your IT using a similar platform without having to give it up, and we take care of making sure it’s all integrated and secure.

SM: And you’re about a $10 million company, is that correct?

AO: I think I have to defer to Mike again.

Mike: Yes.

SM: OK. Anything you’d like to add?

AO: Sure. External IT is one of our best providers.

SM: What is external IT?

AO: Our go-to-market strategy is through MSPs. We’re just a technology company, and we run the infrastructure, meaning the servers on the back end. But we don’t sell servers. So, we have master MSPs, external IT, a lot of them that actually go out and resell. Some of these MSPs are white label and some of them are value-added resellers. That’s the model.

SM: I see. So, it’s a multi-tiered MSP structure that you’re talking about. Got it. I think I’ve got an idea about what you do and what’s been happening in the integration as a service and cloud services brokerage and MSP spaces. It was interesting. Thank you for your time.

AO: Thank you, Sramana.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Alex Osipov, CTO of OS33
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