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PM: In the end, we ended up being an HP shop as it turns out. But we will continue to look at the different technologies out there. That being said, we’ve been extremely pleased with the partnership with both HP and HPM. Often times, with manufacturers, they’ll get a channel partner in there and you’ll work exclusively with them and if you need to go beyond that, there’s no one there. We found with HP, there is someone there.
So if we need to reach out beyond HPM, and there’s still additional knowledge we need, we’ve got HP backing it up and that’s been critical for us.
Romi, regarding the cloud, you said 12 to 24 months is when you see that the cloud may be moving to a next level. What’s happening in the cloud at that time?
RR: Here in the Bay Area, we work with a lot of start-ups who want to sell their services through the cloud. We see the cloud as an opportunity for us to give them the infrastructure they need. Even if they’re start-ups of just 40 or 50 people, they’re actually looking to create an infrastructure in the cloud.
We see a lot of that happening today. I think you’re going to have to consolidate some of those companies to get a clearer picture of what exactly this is going to be. I think it’s going to be about non-critical applications, maybe some third or fourth applications being backed up in the cloud. That sort of thing is going to move towards the cloud in the next 12 months or so as people become more comfortable with it.
I think as the market consolidates, as it shrinks, and it will shrink, you’re going to have a clearer picture of who’s offering what and what cloud infrastructure is going to look like.
RR: It’s being talked about as we speak. The HP cloud strategy team has approached us and other resellers and asked, “Hey, would you be interested in reselling if we became that kind of provider?” So there’s been a lot of talk going on and a lot of feelers being sent out to the reseller channel and the hosters to see if we can take advantage of such an approach and still make some money, and maintain some of our clients so they don’t go out and go to these third-party cloud providers.
PM: I think we are within a 12- to 24-month timeframe for people to really grasp the cloud and take advantage of it. We’re looking at cloud opportunities, but again, not for our primary applications. I think there are still two main concerns, security and availability. You’ve got to be secure and you’ve got to be available. People aren’t ready to trust that cloud provider to do that. They’d rather have that control. It has to make strategic sense with, right now, minimal risk.
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