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Parallels: “This Is Your Moment”

At the Parallels Summit at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, CEO Birger Steen deftly borrowed an Obama-like phrase to excite and motivate more than 1,100 attendees about the SMB cloud. Aside from the standard product news and upgrades, Parallels displayed its solid community leadership by sharing its latest research findings. “Parallels SMB Cloud Insights research is core to our commitment to help service providers make both strategic and tactical decisions about the rapidly growing market for SMB cloud services,” said Steen. “We are pleased with the responses we are receiving from our service provider partners and will continue making a substantial investment in our expertise and knowledge initiatives.”

Additional Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ research findings include:
•    Globally, the 2012 cloud services market has grown to $45 billion USD as at least 6 million SMBs entered the cloud market for the first time last year. The global market will continue to grow at 28 percent CAGR through 2015 to a forecasted $95 billion USD.
•    In the U.S., the SMB cloud market is now $18.9 billion USD and is forecast to grow at a 19 percent CAGR through 2015. This growth is driven by SaaS applications, which saw 60 percent growth in 2012. Additionally, 68 percent of SMBs indicated they would prefer to buy their cloud services as part of a discounted bundle.
•    In Brazil, Parallels predicts the SMB market will grow by 33 percent year-over-year for the next three years, reaching $2.6 billion USD by the end of 2015.
•    In Mexico, the SMB cloud services market grew 30 percent last year and will continue to grow at 45 percent over the next three years, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing SMB markets.

These reports outline the cloud services that have the most current and future appeal for SMBs across four key categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Web Presence and Web Applications, Hosted Communication and Collaboration, and Business Applications (also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The new Global, U.S., Brazil and Mexico reports mark the third year of ongoing research in the Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ series, which now includes unique reports for 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, China, India, Japan, Australia and Russia. Regional roll-ups are also available for Europe and Asia-Pacific.

MUST DO: Download all 32 SMB Cloud Insights reports available for download at http://www.parallels.com/SMBreport.

When asked about competition, Steen highlighted that Parallels’ broad portfolio means there certainly is overlap with many ISVs, OEMs and industry players. But he prided himself on highlighting the co-operitition nature of Parallels’ DNA and how it plays nice in the sandbox. But digging deeper – he did name one direct competitor: CITRIX. It was really a passing comment but underscored that Citrix lines up squarely with its portfolio with Parallels. I’ll continue to monitor this story.

Shifting gears, a service provider panel on the Monday media day fielded a range of questions from the attending press and industry analysts. I asked three telecom panelists about channel conflict between direct and indirect cloud sales: Jan Taug, Head off SaaS Initiative, Telnor (Norway); Omar Benameur, Director of Cloud Services, KPN; and Dan Jacboson, General Manager Cloud Services, Sprint. Short story is that each acknowledged the potential channel conflict when a telecom sells direct to the customer versus using a partner or sales agent. However, the question was answered strategically that many telecom use different brands or even allow white labeling to mitigate customer collisions.

But not that it really matters much regarding telecom channel conflict in the cloud. Why? Because as the figure above displays from Tim Harmon’s “The Real Opportunities in the SMB Cloud Services Market” keynote attests, telecoms are the last choice amongst SMBs to purchase cloud services from. But don’t get too smug beloved SMB Nation readers as the direct avenue kicked the SMB partner’s backside by a wide margin.

Stay tuned for further updates from the Parallels Summit at www.smbnation.com and monitor #ParallelsSummit.

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Guest Tuesday, 23 September 2014