UK-based cloud service provider, ThinkGrid, has taken its first steps into the Australian SMB market.
The company supplies a blend of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) on-demand, including hosted desktops and software, through its cloud platform. Delivered by IP, its model is designed to reduce an organisation’s need for in-house IT hardware and software licencing.
Local partner, Skybox, was responsible for bringing ThinkGrid into Australia after realising a potential avenue in the SMB space.
ThinkGrid has set-up two datacentre facilities in Sydney but has yet to establish an office.
While there were managed service providers offering cloud products to enterprise customers, Skybox managing director, Simon Probert, said he could not find one that catered for smaller businesses.
“The technology we use, such as virtualisation, is well-known, but it has mainly been the playground for larger and enterprise businesses,” he said. “But we have the hardware and servers, so why restrict these services to enterprise when smaller businesses can also benefit by uptake of the technology?”
Skybox began trading in July and is gearing its services towards 5-15 seat businesses.
“Once you go over the 25-head organisations, there are more cost benefits of owning your own infrastructure,” Probert said. “The sweet spot of 5-15 seats will get the most cost saving and benefits. Also, once you get to the enterprise side, there are many other players in that space and, as a new business, our focus is to capture the SMB vertical.”
Probert said there was some resistance to cloud offerings in the SMB space but was confident of a return on his investment longer term.
“The important thing is that when businesses start to understand the message and what the services are and the cost savings gained from moving towards cloud-based services, they will start to figure it out very quickly,” he said.
Scalability and flexible agreements will be key drivers in promoting the ThinkGrid services to SMB clients.
Skybox is also offering support and an uptime guarantee. Depending on uptake, ThinkGrid will consider establishing points of presence in other major capital cities.
Skybox is starting small, with five clients currently trialling ThinkGrid.
“The fact that ThinkGrid agreed to come and set-up datacentres show that there is good opportunity here,” Probert said.