Parallels makes cloud services easier to sell

Virtualization software vendor cutting down time and cost for ISVs and service providers to provision and bill cloud-based services, particularly to Asia's SMBs, by using its Application Packaging Standard (APS).

Parallels is aiming to cut down the time and cost needed for independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers to bring their cloud services to market by promoting its Application Packaging Standard (APS).

Alex Danyluk, senior director of ISV and SaaS alliances at Parallels, told ZDNet Asia service providers such as telcos and hosting companies would usually want to provide as many cloud-based services to end-users as possible. However, this was not realistic as every software developer would have to work with individual service providers to ensure the software can be provisioned and billed to customers on the latter's platform--and this could take many months to complete, he noted in an interview.

This is where APS comes in, by providing standard parameters for software companies to adhere to with regard to provisioning the service, billing and other backend support capabilities. Essentially, it acts as a "link" between the software and the marketplace platform it will be sold on, thus making it easier for ISVs and service providers to bring cloud services to market, Danyluk explained.

These marketplace platforms are based on Parallels Automation technology--a hosting and cloud services delivery system. The virtualization software vendor profits from APS by the sale of Parallels Automation, as well as a percentage of cloud service sold which was packaged using APS, added David Dzienciol, regional vice president and general manager of sales for Asia-Pacific at Parallels, in a separate interview.

"Without APS, you are required to solve the unique provisioning, billing, and administration with each individual distribution partnership. APS helps ISVs reach the cloud distribution ecosystem via a single packaging effort," according to the APS Web site.

The Application Packaging Standard was first developed by Parallels in 2007, which then opened up its technology to industry partners, such as hosting company 1&1, to help drive the adoption of the standard.

Targeting Asia's SMBs
Dzienciol also noted the potential of cutting down the time-to-market and hassle of purchasing cloud services using APS, which will boost cloud uptake among small and midsize businesses (SMBs). An earlier study by the company showed the cloud market for SMBs in the Asia-Pacific region will grow at 38 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit US$19.8 billion in 2015.

Already, some regional telcos and hosting companies have enabled APS for their platforms. These include South Korea's KT and Australia's iiNet, as well as Singapore's cloud and managed hosting provider ReadySpace. Other industry heavyweights such as VMware, with its Zimbra e-mail and collaboration suite, and Microsoft with its Office 365 product, are also packaging their online services with APS, the company executive stated.

Danyluk said looking forward, Parallels and its business partners will hope to accelerate the growth of the ecosystem and the number of participating ISVs and service providers, including system integrators (SIs).

This is particularly so in Asia-Pacific, in which "visibility" of the standard among enterprise developers is still "very low", Dzienciol added.