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Enabling Software Sales

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Vincent WeberinkAn interview explores Application Packaging-as-a-service with Vincent Weberink, CEO of APPTIMZED, the provider of a new service category for solution providers...

First, Apptimized is offering Application-Packaging as a Service... so what is “application packaging” and why does it need to be a service?

[Weberink] For years, the software industry has sought to disrupt other industries by making the operations of these industries more efficient, faster, and cheaper.  Yet the one industry where we have failed to improve as much as we could is our own.

Companies must manage their software estates, continuously deploying new software and updating existing software including vital security patching).  The full process- - from the moment of buying (or downloading)-- up to deployment of each single software package often takes weeks. The process is complicated, takes lots of manpower and is expensive – not even taking into account the company's employees actually have to wait a long time before they may use the desired software. The bottom line is companies are buying software and updates that cannot be used out of the box or even immediately after downloading.

Once upon a time VARs would help their clients resolve these software implementation issues, but because of the growing complexity of the required service, companies now seek help elsewhere: often outsourcing (or “in-sourcing”) to a specialist to do “application packaging” which streamlines software configuration and deployment.

Application packaging is the process of creating a 'wrapper' or meta-program around the original software installer to automate the installation process. Packages must also be created to meet the installation requirements for each IT environment: corporate standards for software usage and desktop design, multiple languages, regional issues, and software-related support issues. 

These packages must be prepared for all kinds of software, commercial, free and shareware-- and even any applications developed in-house.

Apptimized radically changes the application packaging process from a service intensive complicated, long-winded and expensive process into a cloud based self-service model that is fast, easy and affordable. You could call this “self-service" application packaging.

We describe this as application packaging as-a-service, a service that enables IT pros to create custom-configured packaged desktop software for worry-free installations across the company. Now the process to bring purchased software (and updates) across a company will take only a few minutes, even if the assigned person has never packaged an app in his/her life.

What is the market opportunity for this service?

[Weberink] Over the years we have seen the market share of VARs decline, more and more businesses started buying directly from the vendors.

Application Packaging is actually a service that should be provided by VARs because it doesn’t make sense if businesses buy software they can’t immediately use.  Until now, many VARs have avoided offering a service due to the complexity. Apptimized changes this. It’s easy to implement in a VAR model. It’s a full service model that can be integrated into any VAR service delivery by hiding all the complexity under the hood of the system. It can be integrated into any e-commerce store as well. 

This service offers VARs a unique selling proposition to sell more software and to distinguish itself against competitors. Every software product provided across the network needs to be packaged and also each update has to be packaged. By offering Apptimized as part of your service, you encourage your clients to buy all their software from you. After all, for each update its cheaper and easier for your customer to come to you than it is to deal with the application packaging themselves. That’s the type of “stickiness” you want in a service.

How do Solution Providers take advantage of this opportunity?

[Weberink] If a solution provider is already providing application packaging, Apptimized will make their life easier.  If the solution provider is not offering this as a service, it creates a whole new profit category that perfectly fits the trend to managed services and cloud.

What is Apptimized's background in this segment?

[Weberink] We have over 10 years of industry leading experience in Application Packaging and today serve over 250 corporates. We've create Apptimized out of that experience, to make our own lives easier.

It's only after we created Apptimized that we realized this software service is a game-changer for the industry. Apptimized actually brings the type of innovation and transformation to the software industry that software hopes to bring to other industries.

I should also mention there's a free trial...anyone can test Apptimized. It's easy to use and a great service that solution providers can offer their end user customers.

Go Apptimized's Application Packaging as a Service

Q4 2014 Revenues Drop for IBM

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IBM Q4 2014 revenues drop by -12% Y-o-Y to $24.1 billion, marking out an 11th consecutive quarter of declines for Big Blue, while net income reaches $5.5bn with a -11% Y-o-Y decrease.

IBM logoOn a full-year 2014 basis IBM reports revenues of $92.8bn, a 5.7% drop from $98.4bn in 2013. The company partly blames such declines on its two major sales during the period-- the September sale of the System x server business to Lenovo and the selling of its semiconductor business to Globalfoundries last October.

“We are making significant progress in our transformation, continuing to shift IBM’s business to higher value, and investing and positioning ourselves for the longer term," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says. "In 2014, we repositioned our hardware portfolio for higher value, maintained a services backlog of $128bn and achieved strong revenue growth across cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security. Together these strategic imperatives grew 16% in 2014 and now represent $25bn and 27% of our revenue.”

antispameurope Becomes Hornetsecurity

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German security MSP antispameurope announces a corporate identity revamp-- it now calls itself Hornetsecurity and presents a "fresher, more modern appearance."

Hornet SecurityFounded in 2007, the renamed company counts 26000 customers and has a network of over 450 partners, around 300 of which based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It offers a range of cloud-based security products, including email solutions such as spam filtering, archiving, continuity and archiving.

“By changing our name, we reacted to our growing product portfolio and our strategic expansion into new markets and countries”, the company says. “On the other hand, we focus with the new website increasingly on current trends such as consumerisation of IT and usability, including on-the-go.”

Equinix Bolsters Cloud With Nimbo

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Datacenter and interconnection vendor Equinix is the next company to acquire further cloud capabilities with Nimbo, a professional services company specialised on enterprise hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Equinix NimboThe financial details of the deal are not available, but Nimbo revenues stand at around $10 million for 2014.

Nimbo's speciality is the migration of business applications to the cloud, particularly the moving of legacy application to hybrid architectures and connecting legacy datacenters to the cloud. It is a certified AWS and Microsoft Azure partner and "trusted advisor" to some of the largest organisations in the world.

Cisco: Careless Atitudes Help Cybercriminals

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According to Cisco users fail to patch or update their software-- leaving their organisations wide open for increasingly sophisticated attackers able to take advantage of such glaring security gaps.

Cisco security"Defenders, namely, security teams, must be constantly improving their approach to protect their organization from these increasingly sophisticated cyber attack campaigns," the company says. "These issues are further complicated by the geopolitical motivations of the attackers and conflicting requirements imposed by local laws with respect to data sovereignty, data localisation and encryption."

The Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report says 60% of survey respondents do not patch, and only 10% run the latest version of Internet Explorer. On the other hand 90% are "confident" in their security capabilities, even if it should not be the case. It surveys security executives from 1700 companies in 9 countries, namely the UK, Germany, Italy, the US, India, Japan and China.

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