Sector: Public cloud service provider for SMBs
Competitors: Telcos, local SIs, big public cloud app providers
They said it: “Small businesses….are prime candidates to move to the cloud.”
Communications and IT service provider Cbeyond is betting big on the cloud—particularly, on the cloud’s appeal to the small and mid-sized business market—even though the learning curve for those customer targets is still steep.
“The biggest challenge right now is awareness—helping a small business understand what the cloud can do for them,” said Brooks Robinson, president of the Cbeyond Cloud Services division. “There is an element of education with the cloud and how it applies to the small business.”
The company stepped up its cloud push after the acquisition in November 2010 of MaximumASP, which positioned Cbeyond as a nationwide provider of cloud services, Robinson said. In 2010, Cbeyond did $450 million in revenue. The company serves more than 55,000 small business customers (ranging from five to 200 employees), he said.
“Seventy percent of small businesses have a server and are prime candidates to move that server to the cloud, or augment it with a cloud server,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that while issues like reliability and security may still weigh heavy on the minds of small business owners, Cbeyond views the cloud as solutions to those problems. “Reliability and security actually increase when you move to the cloud, relative to what a small business would otherwise have,” he said.
Going forward, Cbeyond is focused on developing the channels through which it provides its cloud services, Robinson said—primarily private-label and value-added resellers. “We’ll take our cue from them,” he said.