Short Term Fads, Long Term Trends, Profit Both Ways

ExchangeDefender, IT Business
Comments Off on Short Term Fads, Long Term Trends, Profit Both Ways

As I’ve mentioned just about every chance I get, we’ve been at this for about 15 years. Every year or so I look at my lines of business and wonder if it’s going to make it around for another year or two. Most of them don’t. When we first started Own Web Now, I was wondering if we could keep on selling domain registrations. Then web hosting. Then ISDN dialbacks. Then reselling T1’s and circuits. Then web design. Then web and email hosting. Then security. Then email. Every time we make it into a new technology it takes 2-3 years before it becomes easier to obtain that the fad tide rides fast and then you either catch a new one or fade into obscurity.

Today, with the launch of ExchangeDefender CloudShare, I’m going to say something unusual that I’ve never said before.

I think that CloudShare – combined with all our other lines of business – has not just added another two to three years.. but at least 10 years to our relevancy in an SMB organization.

Shifting Paradigms

First we had mainframes and dumb terminals.

Then we went from mainframes to most computing being done on individual PCs.

With Internet revolution we started marching back towards the client-server model and now on to the cloud which in essence is pushing most of the storage, processing and intelligence back onto a mainframe like monster system.

I think the mobility trend is here to stay for at least another decade.

Small businesses are adopting it at a record pace. Our hosted mail products are smacking around on-site deployments – and soon there will be a time where nobody but the biggest shops will be building high end servers in their offices. Everyone thinks so, including Microsoft that just killed SBS.

Reality Check

As I wrote previously, we do not for a moment believe that businesses of any size blindly trust the cloud. The problem with software design and software industry is that you don’t design solutions for the edge cases, you design for the mass market – and the reality is that you cannot sell massive amounts of software to businesses that are paranoid of the Internet.

This is where I think they are wrong and I’m betting a lot of money against them.

Not sure if I placed enough emphasis on that one. Smile

Here is the thing, small businesses are going to keep on moving more and more stuff to the cloud. It just makes sense. It plays well with mobile devices. It’s easy to budget and it’s relatively cheap to maintain because it’s someone elses job to do all the nasty antivirus, backup, migration and so on. So the cloud + mobility stuff is here to stay.

The catch is that the cloud takes all the control out of your hands. It offers damn near zero compensation in the case of a data loss. Everything is at your own risk – and in business we try to minimize risk and maximize profits and remove uncertainty.

So how certain are you that the cloud won’t lose your data? Would you bet a $1,000/year business on the cloud? Sure. How about a $10,000 a year? Maybe. $100,000? Maybe, but I don’t feel comfortable. $1,000,000? No way. $10,000,000? Trust? What’s that?

I believe that our CloudShare extends our business by ten years. Simply put – cloud providers have no incentive to create a backup system for you. Absolutely none. They are better off spending $ on their own infrastructure redundancy and charging you more for more frequent backups that they manage. Play Russian roulette with your data, would you like to point a revolver loaded with 4 bullets or 1 bullet to your head? Go ahead, just squeeze.

We have always seen an advantage along the lines of common sense and low risk.

We’re rolling out a software solution (CloudShare) today. It will keep your files in the cloud and sync them locally to all your PCs.

This fall we’ll be rolling out a hardware appliance that will bring all the cloud files to your office. Then all of your email messages in the ExchangeDefender Hosted Exchange. Then Twitter. Then Facebook. Then other providers.

The better the cloud and mobility does, the better you’ll do.

And I think that makes a difference that no cloud will be able to bolster.

Differentiation. For a decade. Let’s spank this!

P.S. So my partners will make lots of bank. Now, here is the thing. This is the last time I’m begging you to join us at ExchangeDefender. If you’re not onboard and working with us, ExchangeDefender Partner Program will soon be going byebye in it’s current form and the entry fee and terms will become quite steep. Truth is, I need to put more resources towards Managed Messaging, Shockey Monkey and CloudShare so training new resellers for free is just not in the best interest of the business and our partners. More details on this later.