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SoftwareONE Strengthens Ties With AWS, Makes It Easier For Customers To Move Workloads To The Public Cloud

SoftwareONE is beefing up its support around Amazon Web Services by rolling out transaction, billing, advisory and migration capabilities tied to its automated PyraCloud platform.

SoftwareONE is beefing up its support of Amazon Web Services (AWS) by rolling out transaction, billing, advisory and migration capabilities tied to its automated cloud platform.

The Waukesha, Wis.-based, $5.5 billion solution provider – No. 14 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 – has close ties with Microsoft, but said customers have been asking for more visibility into their AWS consumption, according to Bali Kuchipudi, SoftwareONE's product marketing lead. He hopes the enhancements will allow the company to get deeper into AWS-centric customer environments.

"Microsoft [customers] understand that these are the leaders in the IaaS space right now, AWS and Azure," Kuchipudi told CRN. "We're giving an unbiased view so that the customer can make the best possible decision on which service to consume."

[RELATED: Private Equity Firm Acquires Stake In SoftwareONE To Drive M&A]

SoftwareONE already has a full-service offering around Microsoft Azure, Kuchipudi said, including managed spend, technical services, back-end support and front-end advisory services to determine which workloads to migrate to the cloud.

AWS is the world's largest cloud provider, controlling 31 percent of the global market at the end of last year, according to Synergy Research. Microsoft Azure is the second most significant player, controlling 9 percent of the market.

Effective immediately, Kuchipudi said SoftwareONE customers can bill and transact AWS through PyraCloud. The solution provider plans to build out advisory, support and migration services for AWS in 2017 to better serve on-premises or pure-play AWS customers interested in moving workloads to the public cloud, according to Lawrence Schwartz, SoftwareONE's CMO.

For the first time, Kuchipudi said SoftwareONE would have a significant marketing presence at AWS's re:Invent event later this month in hopes of highlighting the new capabilities around PyraCloud and generating more AWS-specific leads and prospects.

"We definitely want to help customers get into the AWS environment," Kuchipudi said. "We've been part of their partner network, but we haven't really done much with AWS [until now]."

Unlike Microsoft, AWS doesn't have a large base of on-premises customers, Schwartz said. But since SoftwareONE has a view into the on-premises spending of end user organizations, Kuchipudi said the company is better positioned than born-in-the-cloud players to help clients determine the financial and performance ramifications of migrating workloads into the cloud.

SoftwareONE is also rolling out a decision calculator to help CIOs or line of business leaders determine whether AWS, Azure or IBM SoftLayer would be the best fit for their workloads. Kuchipudi said customers could input what type of computing, networking, storage and operating systems they require, and the decision calculator will estimate how much it would cost to fulfill those needs on using each service.


"We want to be cloud agnostic," Kuchipudi said. "We want to give them several options, and customers will make a decision on which way they want to go."

Although SoftwareONE doesn't have back-end services around SoftLayer today, Kuchipudi said the company can give customers an accurate picture of how much it would cost to operate their workloads in that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment.

SoftwareONE will also make it possible for customers to get a high-level view of their Office 365 environment through PyraCloud so that they can leverage analytics to achieve the best level of service. The company today provides a view into who's using Office 365, the specific services being consumed and any potential security issues through its Cloud Insider tool.

The updated PyraCloud will allow business unit-level tagging across multiple cloud vendors so that company leaders can quickly take in how much each business unit is spending on cloud services. Although AWS and Azure offer tagging within their own solutions, Kuchipudi said SoftwareONE's broader view provides value since business units often use multiple cloud services.

SoftwareONE has traditionally targeted PyraCloud toward the procurement side of the house, but the company hopes additional persona offerings will make the platform appealing to compliance officers or the CIO team. CIOs will have improved visibility into spend by business unit, Kuchipudi said, and a dashboard has been customized to check compliance with specific requirements.

By the end of the year, Kuchipudi said SoftwareONE expects to have set up storefronts of approved cloud services recommended by the IT department of the end user organizations. This will allow line-of-business leaders to get into PyraCloud and purchase their own software while still providing the IT department with visibility into any shadow IT, he said.

Just 3,500 of SoftwareONE 27,000 customers use PyraCloud for either cloud consumption or on-premise software lifecycle management, Kuchipudi said. All of the users of SoftwareONE's software lifecycle portal were migrated over to PyraCloud earlier this year to provide a stronger user experience, he said.

For now, SoftwareONE is focused on pursuing the 23,500 companies where the solution provider already has a footprint, but the customer isn't using PyraCloud. Kuchipudi said the company is very focused on positioning its capabilities to those customers.

"There's a pretty good white space for us," he said.

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