Qnext Provides ‘Unheard Of’ Cloud Storage Edge Service For Partners


More than 70 solution providers seeking a new way to drive on-premises recurring revenue with the flexibility of the cloud flocked to Qnext’s breakout session at XChange 2019 to hear about the vendor’s unique FileFlex on-premises edge service. Qnext raised some curious eyebrows when explaining a recent Intel partnership that provides silicon-to-silicon secure remote access, sharing and collaboration of any file on the customer’s storage infrastructure.

“They’re presenting something that’s new—very new—that I haven’t heard of before,” said Brian Ruschman, president of C-Forward, a Covington, Ky.-based solution provider. “To actually partner with a company like Intel and embed things in silicon chips is out there, that’s unheard of. It’s different. They have a strong play in what they’re doing because they’re the only ones doing it.”

Qnext’s FileFlex is an on-premises edge service that provides cloud storage functionality to the entire company-owned infrastructure and puts it under a solution provider’s control. FileFlex resides behind the firewall, allowing businesses to access and share files in their source locations. It turns an entire customer infrastructure into a resident virtual cloud with full cloud functionality including remote access, share and collaboration capabilities.

Qnext is a channel-only vendor, meaning that FileFlex is completely controlled and billed by a partner with Qnext not even knowing who the end customer is.

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“You would host FileFlex under your own brand. You build the customers—we just supply you the [virtual machine] server. It’s free, and you buy seats from us,” said Tom Ward, vice president of marketing at Qnext, during his session at XChange 2019.

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Ward said Qnext is attacking the business cloud market, which is expected to rise from $3.3 billion in 2018 to $10.9 billion in 2023. In addition, FileFlex fits the mold of 80 percent of all workloads today still being deployed on-premises compared with the 20 percent in the cloud.

“It’s an on-premises edge service that gives you the functionality of remote access, collaboration and file sharing, and IT control to the entire corporate infrastructure of your clients—all provided by you. All controlled by you and under your brand,” said Ward to dozens of solution providers. “It gives that full cloud functionality to existing storage and puts it under IT control, with an option to be security-hardened at the chip level by Intel SGX technology.”

With FileFlex security-hardened at the chip level by Intel SGX technology, the integrity and security of all data that is accessed by the user is guaranteed while also providing end-to-end encryption using SGX enclaves of Intel vPro to secure and protect data.

“It has the option of being further hardened at the silicon level with Intel SGX technology. It gives you silicon to silicon cloud sharing—no one else can do this,” said Ward.

With FileFlex, all the data remains in the original location, meaning a solution provider doesn’t have to copy it to a third party, duplicate it to a secondary location or give the data to someone else. “It stays in its original location so it is very easy to scale, it makes it very effective and very cost-effective,” said Ward. “It’s a software solution applied to existing storage, all managed by you, or you can let the IT department of your customer manage it as well.”

C-Forward Ruschman’s said he was very interested in the technology and channel-friendly approach Qnext was offering.

“We do like to have control of that stuff. When we tell our clients that we have more control over it, they like that,” said Ruschman. “A lot of the partners if they signed up with Qnext, their customer will never hear the word FileFlex or the company name behind it. We would brand it as our own and sell it to our client as something else. You have control over that, which is great.”

Qnext’s channel program offers FlexFile as a solution provider’s own service offering. The vendor provides a complete management toolset for partners with no obligations to start. As a special offer at XChange, Qnext is offering new partners 20 free seats if they sign up by March 31.

“You’re in total control. It’s under your brand. We don’t compete against you,” said Ward. “We give you all the tools you need. Getting started is free. We don’t get paid until you get paid. We’d love to have you as our partner.”