Dell has announced CloudRunner, a new turnkey, desktop-as-a-service offering designed to bring cloud services to SMBs, particularly the smaller part of that space. While it was quietly launched last fall to a select number of partners, Dell is now looking to scale up MSP participation. Aimed both at experienced MSPs as well as VARs who are just now about to move into managed services, CloudRunner is designed as a strong vertical play, especially in healthcare, financial services, and legal.
“We have sophisticated providers who have been in the business for 20 years and believe this is where it is all going, and this works for them,” said Darrin Swan, director of worldwide sales and business development for Dell’s Service Provider Program. “It also lets smaller VARS and solution providers who don’t have a cloud program today get into it pretty quickly.”
Swan said that from the partner’s perspective, CloudRunner contains everything from ‘soup to nuts.’
“We have put in the enablement portal anything they would need, from website content to email content to customer-facing economic calculators, to revenue modelling to figure out how much money they can make,” he said. CloudRunner goes to the customers with the partner’s own brand on it as well, and also automates service management and billing.
From the customer perspective, CloudRunner provides secure, anywhere, anytime access to all their business applications in a familiar Windows desktop, on any device. Customers’ applications and data follow them wherever they go and are accessible from any laptop, tablet, desktop or smartphone.
Dell’s managed services program came with the acquisition of Quest, and now encompasses thousands of service providers. The CloudRunner program is not based on new IP, but it is new as a specific offering.
“It stitches together a variety of pieces of Dell IP to enable partners to deliver services, and in this regard, it is a net-new opportunity,” Swan said. “It makes it easier and faster to deliver services with a one-stop shop selling experience.”
Swan stated that apps and data are the reason the cloud is disruptive, and CloudRunner provides a value proposition in a solution that delivers apps quickly.
“It’s all about those line of business applications, and with automation, workflow and provisioning systems, that’s a lot of complex technology for partners,” he said. “With CloudRunner, the partner doesn’t have to administer and manage these any more. We help them scale horizontally and vertically. We can also help them go after very specific vertical markets.”
Swan gave an example of a partner servicing the health care vertical, including compliance.
“This lets them deliver CloudRunner as a service with accounting systems, medical records, and compliance service all as one offering. They can fold their existing services into CloudRunner as well, for a full one-stop shop.” Margins are also high. Swan said they are typically 50 to 100 per cent.
Swan said the market for this is huge — a billion and a half to 2.24 billion dollars per month in Canada alone.
“The target market for this is all based on the applications the customers use and consume, and between 225 and 250 people is around where it tops out and the market changes – essentially where the customer needs something like Peoplesoft instead of Sage. The real sweet spot for CloudRunner though is the sub-100 market.”
CloudRunner actually had a soft, limited launch last November.
“We initially recruited Dell geo partners of the year, and Premier Partner Advisory Council members,” Swan said. “We are now ready to scale and grow, and are onboarding partners who embrace this. We want to work with business-savvy partners who also have the technical chops, who see where the market is going, and want to get on the bus.”
Dell CloudRunner is available now to MSPs.