A little history lesson: OS33 offers a fully-hosted IT-as-a-service offering for MSPs that can run applications such as Microsoft Sharepoint, email, a Webtop environment, and just about any other application that can run on a server. It has targeted bigger MSPs -- those with 300 or more users, and told MSPmentor about its partner recruitment momentum last year. The new program announced today makes it possible for smaller MSPs to use the platform, too.
OS33 announced two of these cloud aggregators, LevelCloud and PointClickWork. MSPmentor spoke with LevelCloud founder and CEO Biren Shukla who started his cloud aggregation service out of his own MSP business, Forum Info-Tech, Inc., in Corona, Calif.
"We are shortening MSPs' time to market," Shukla told me. For MSPs the trouble with getting into the cloud aggregation market is that it requires an investment in infrastructure, but infrastructure is a commodity. So you are stuck with paying for infrastructure even as bigger guys are paying lower prices all around you and getting a competitive edge.
It also removes OS33's barriers to entry for smaller players -- a big upfront cost and immediate carrying cost of several thousand dollars per month (in blocks of supported users purchased) before the MSP has even sold anything.
LevelCloud removes the need for a big upfront capital investment (although there is a $1,000 fee to get started). MSP partners get access to the LevelCloud portal which provides everything they need to start offering cloud services to customers, from help desk ticketing to spinning up of servers and applications. There's a 30 day on ramp program which provides training in he technology and sales plus templates for proposals, contracts and other documents.
MSP partners have the option of offering customers line-of-business applications in the cloud, such as ProLaw. For Microsoft and Citrix licenses, you pay for what you consume. For line-of-business, the customer pays for the license and then the application is hosted in the cloud instead of on premise. A hybrid solution is also a possibility.
LevelCloud currently has two MSP partners up and running and another six in the 30 day program. He says right now those partners are seeing margins of 30 percent to 35 percent on the cloud services business.