Broadliner ALSO Group is expanding its international reach and tapping into growing demand for cloud marketplaces with the launch of the ALSO Cloud Marketplace (ACMP) in the UK.
Europe’s largest marketplace for cloud solutions and services helps resellers/ MSPs move to an as-a-service model by automating the process of procuring and renewing subscriptions and managing, upgrading and invoicing licences, saving them time and money and reducing customer churn.
ACMP can also be used by ISVs/ CSPs to market their own solutions and is available in a white-label version for customers that want to provide an own- branded cloud marketplace.
Although ACMP is only now being launched in the UK, ALSO developed its marketplace almost a decade ago. Since then, it has continued to develop the platform, which is now available in 30 European countries and 144 worldwide, directly or through platform-as-a-service (PaaS) partners.
Offering 1,600 services from more than 100 vendors, ACMP is not limited to software but can be used to provide hardware, laptops, servers and networks as-a-service, plus integrated services for cybersecurity, IoT and AI.
“It’s a very mature part of the business for us, but it’s also a part of the business that is growing hugely year on year, at around 44% last year”, explains Mark Appleton, who as Chief Customer Officer for ALSO Cloud UK heads up ACMP’s roll- out in the UK.
Appleton, who has been based in the UK for 24 years, first with Alpha International and then with ALSO, managing printing and supplies for the Group internationally, says the time is right for ALSO to return to the UK, having moved Alpha’s UK operations to the Netherlands after acquiring the company in 2014.
In the interim, ALSO has continued to supply UK resellers with printer supplies, albeit from the Netherlands, while ACMP has been active in the UK, but only through a PaaS partner.
The launch of ALSO Cloud UK will enable the Group to target an addressable UK market of 20 million corporate users of cloud-based applications and IT as-a- service solutions more strategically.
“The UK is the biggest IT services market in Europe. Yes, it’s quite over distributed, but there is space for us as well, especially when you consider how well developed the ALSO Cloud Marketplace is and the benefits of migrating to or integrating with it”, explains Appleton. “We’re not here for the short-term. We have a very aggressive five-year business plan and believe we can seriously establish ourselves in the UK and become number one. These are tough numbers to deliver, of course, but we have a team of 11 now and are starting the hunting process for onboarding resellers.”
Appleton will also be recruiting new vendors for ACMP in the UK. “In mainland Europe, there are 100-plus vendors online. We are starting off with the two critical ones, which are Microsoft and Adobe, and we have another 14 or 15 ISVs that will be on-boarded in the next week. Not all vendors are pan-EU, some have national decision-making and some are quite localised, so we are continually talking to different vendors and are now speeding up that process to get them on-boarded as quickly as possible. Our plan is to get to that European number. It will take a few months, of course, but what’s critical is that, as well as Microsoft and Adobe, we have the important cybersecurity vendors to kick start the process. We have Acronis, CrowdStrike, Hoxhunt, Vade, DigiCert and nexetic ready now and another eight that are just waiting for final approval.”