With the big cloud players like Microsoft, AWS, IBM continuously innovating their cloud offerings, the organizations are becoming increasingly selective in their cloud buying approach. They are leveraging not just one, two, but multiple cloud solutions to get the mixed set of capabilities that these offer to serve their different needs. Hence, multi-cloud is becoming the new De Facto standard.
No doubt, this gives rise to new opportunities for the service providers, wherein they can sell customized and bundled solutions of different cloud brands but this also increases their challenges at the same time. The management of different services along with some level of automation is needed for ordering, billing, provisioning, delivery, monitoring, support and more, as all brands have different mechanisms for different procedures. In addition, the customers cannot be hassled with managing a number of cloud solutions accounts. Hence, the need is felt for an end to end cloud business automation platform.
We talked to Guruprit Ahuja, CEO, RackNap, about what RackNap is, how it helps cloud service providers, datacenters, web hosting providers and subscription service providers sell different cloud services under one roof.
“RackNap is a platform built by a CSP for a CSP. With it, a CSP can sell cloud/non-cloud services, manage support, sales/marketing, inventory aspects, partner management – all in one platform.”
– Guruprit Ahuja, CEO – RackNap
1. What is RackNap basically and how it helps CSPs, datacenters, SaaS providers, web hosting and other subscription services providers?
RackNap is a cloud services delivery software platform aimed at Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), Data centers (DCs), web hosters, subscription providers by helping them to provision, bill services easily in an automated way. It is able to reduce cost of operations using automation where possible, increase revenues for these service providers offering effective lead management, targeted marketing campaigns helping to improve conversions.
2. That’s great! But, how do you think RackNap has an edge over other cloud automation platforms?
RackNap has been built by a team of business/technical professionals who have vast experience/knowledge of the CSP program. This is a platform built by a CSP for a CSP. With RackNap, a CSP can sell cloud/non-cloud services, manage support, sales/marketing, inventory aspects, partner management – all in one platform. This helps to get over the complexities of integrating multiple systems. Effectively, it is the ERP of Cloud Services delivery, offering everything from lead management to post service delivery support all from a central management console.
3. A central management console sounds great but with rising concerns over security and increasing cyber-attacks, how does RackNap secure an organization’s data?
RackNap team takes security aspects very seriously. As a part of our development cycle, we perform penetration and vulnerability tests on every release of our packaged software. Results from these tests are assessed and corrective actions taken to ensure there is no repeat of any flaws found. All source files are encrypted. Access to the various functions of RackNap are handled via granular roles and privileges based on business functions. This helps to have control of who accesses what data types etc. This access is logged completely and any misuse can be tracked easily.
4. Tell us something about the current version of RackNap and planned future enhancements.
The latest version of RackNap is multi-lingual enabled and this sets the path for us to roll out RackNap to a global audience. We have done quite a number of enhancements for Distributors, helping them to manage their partner ecosystem more effectively. B2B and B2C segments are now more tightly integrated. We run an effective feedback cycle with our customers and help to prioritize development based on their needs. The most wanted of the enhancements in the future include – Azure Stack Integrations, Optimized migration process for customers to move from one CSP to another.
5. There’s no doubt that cloud is growing but there’s always room for new and advanced technologies to take over the existing ones. Do you think RackNap will be able to dynamically adopt changing technologies?
The best trait of a successful organization is the ability to adapt itself to changing business scenarios. RackNap has been built ground up with scalable technology helping to make future enhancements easier. We work with alliance partners like Microsoft, AWS, IBM and keep abreast of latest technology trends and include these enhancements as a part of roadmap. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Analytics may become mainstream soon and we are actively watching the space.
6. What are the focus regions for RackNap?
Our key focus regions are the US, Europe and Australia as they are more mature in terms of adoption of cloud technologies. We see a lot of potential for a platform like RackNap in these regions where it can help CSPs to increase profitability. We also have customers from other regions who value the benefits that an automation platform can bring and are using them effectively there to reap business benefits.
7. Looking at the current cloud market scenario, where do you think the biggest opportunities lie for the cloud service providers?
It is very clear from the market research by IDC, Gartner and others that the proportion of Cloud spend to traditional IT spend is likely to increase in the next few years. There are ample opportunities for Cloud Service providers to capitalize on this increasing spend and grab a share of the same. They need to have efficient delivery platform like RackNap to make it easy to provision and bill these services. Also, strategically it is vital that they offer bundling of services to increase stickiness, increase ARPU. It is also important for them to include hybrid cloud, managed public cloud in their portfolio as they can become a one-stop IT shop for their customer and become the trusted ‘IT Advisor’ for them.
8. How is RackNap available for customers now?
We are keen to make it very easy for our customers to deploy RackNap by themselves with little to no intervention from us. We have just rolled out a Quick Start model of RackNap deployment making it very fast to deploy RackNap. Aside to this, we have also launched RackNap on Azure Marketplace. In a few clicks, CSPs can install RackNap in their own Azure subscription and launch cloud services in a matter of minutes. Our plan is to get RackNap listed in the AWS marketplace. All of these will help in making RackNap widely available across different platforms.