Cloud Control Panel is the New Channel for Hosted Apps

March 29, 2010

Apart from the fact that global sales of the Cortex V8 Cloud Control Panel are at an all-time high, there is another aspect of this product that I find quite exciting. That is, the growing channel-to-market for hosted applications that is offered by Cortex’s expanding base of Cloud Service Providers around the world.

Cortex is used by Cloud Service Providers to provision and manage applications, services and infrastructure (such as virtual servers, web servers, back-up systems, DNS etc) that they deploy in their Clouds. Without Cortex, the Cloud Providers would either need to hire an army of system engineers to manually provision and manage their hosted offerings to their customers, or they would need to develop their own bespoke Cloud Control Panel. Cortex is popular because both of these alternatives are potentially very costly and involve significant business risk.

Not only is the base of Cortex users growing, but the base of supported applications is also growing rapidly. Cortex’s main “bread and butter” applications are Microsoft Hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, MS SQL Server, MS IIS, MS CRM, Blackberry, Backup Agent and Hyper-V or XenServer. These are common to most Service Providers, but more and more the envelope is being stretched to include ERP, CRM, Accounting, Payroll, Hosted Office and other business applications.

Cortex provides an API/SDK, so that third parties can add support for other applications. Software companies around the world are realizing that getting their applications added to the Cortex application list gets them potential global exposure through Cortex’s expanding user base.

From another perspective; the increasing base of Cortex’s supported applications is also opening up new channels to market for its Cloud Service Provider clients. Cortex’s delegated-administration capability lets application resellers or channel partners have their own branded Cloud Control Panels from which they can provision and deploy hosted applications on demand – selling the services of the Cloud Providers in the process.

So I believe that the Cortex Cloud Control Panel is the connection between two worlds – the Cloud and Software Channel Businesses (such as ERP & CRM). Exciting stuff!

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