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Wholesale Cloud Provider OrionVM Offers Partners A Strategic Alternative To Hyper-Scalers

The cloud startup from Australia recently allied with WatchGuard to deliver a security-layered IaaS offering with higher margins for resellers looking to self-brand their services.

OrionVM came to America five years ago looking to offer an alternative to the reigning public cloud powerhouses by arming partners with a highly performant white-label offering.

The startup's wholesale cloud model, and infrastructure inspired by supercomputer architecture, had proved a winning combination in its home country of Australia, but to extend that success to the highly competitive U.S. market meant cultivating an ecosystem of best-in-class solutions, Daniel Pfeiffer, OrionVM's vice president of marketing and partnerships, told CRN.

To that end, OrionVM recently forged its latest alliance with WatchGuard, a Seattle-based unified threat management vendor, enabling channel partners to add a layer of network security to virtual instances, including firewalls and SD-WAN.

[Related: OrionVM Inks Deal To Supply AT&T Partners With White-Label Cloud]

"Having their FireboxV and Dimension platforms running on our platforms allows partners to directly procure security services and the billing goes through us," Pfeiffer said, noting WatchGuard, like OrionVM, is channel-exclusive.

Since opening its first U.S. office in San Francisco, OrionVM has expanded across Equinix, CoreSite and AT&T data centers while adding partners and attacking more verticals.

Extending its geographic reach and forging new partnerships has allowed the company to more clearly differentiate its product from behemoths like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

"We've seen an appetite and distinction for our solution compared to hyper-scale providers out there," Pfeiffer said.

The differentiation is strategic, and economics play a huge role. Resellers and MSPs have an opportunity to realize larger margins by taking advantage of discounts that yield prices 25 percent below AWS and 35 percent below Azure, he said.

Partners also appreciate the "reduced friction" that makes it easier for them to engage customers without onerous contracts and commitments, Pfeiffer said.

"MSPs can become their own CSPs, delivering higher-performing, lower-cost solutions than the incumbents," Pfeiffer said. "They can really scale the business with us as they're growing their business. And they control the brand and retention."

OrionVM has also been developing a smaller, but growing, component of the business that sells private clouds that stand up in corporate data centers, Pfeiffer said.

The provider is leveraging its international pedigree. That starts with "cross-pollinating Australian companies into the U.S. and vice-versa," Pfeiffer said. And over the next year, OrionVM will look to expand into data centers in Canada, Hong Kong and the U.K.

The OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform has become a popular choice for certain business segments looking for such differentiated features and go-to-market capabilities. VoIP and VDI providers particularly prefer delivering their communications and virtual desktop solutions under their own branding, Pfeifer said.

One of them is CloudCo Partner, an infrastructure reseller born out of telephony hardware distributor 888VoIP.

Mike Evanisko, CTO for both Buffalo, N.Y.-based companies, said the cloud services business launched four years ago, and soon discovered OrionVM offered a solution uniquely capable of satisfying the entirety of its IaaS needs.

The white-label model is a major benefit for CloudCo Partner and its network of resellers, especially those selling into larger enterprises.

But the main advantage of OrionVM comes from its technical distinctions from the hyper-scalers, which are only affordable for companies like his when offering multi-tenant solutions.

"In the phone system world, when resources are shared, on a phone call you're going to hear it, you'll hear jitter," Evanisko said. "A lot of our partners have tried the big cloud providers and it doesn't work. Their networks aren't designed for that, so there's a technical issue there. And they're so big it's hard to get support."

That's not the case when CloudCo Partners hosts phone systems for its partners on the OrionVM cloud, he said.

"They serve that niche," he said. "We couldn't find anyone else capable of doing these kinds of things."

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