Q&A – AirVM CEO Joshua Vautour’s Clear Vision & Focus on Cloud Simplification
In an enlightening Q&A session with VCloud News, AirVM CEO & Member of the Board of Directors Joshua Vautour talked about his company, products, strategy and the emerging cloud landscape. AirVM originated as a white-label, IaaS cloud platform for resellers and has transformed to enable large scale, cloud service commercialization for service providers and white-label distributors. Today, AirVM cloud software powers a large network of global resellers AND processes millions of commercial transactions for partner cloud services. AirVM is vCloud Powered and VMware Ready certified. This Q&A set below will give you an insight into where the company is headed.
VCloud News: Tell us what AirVM does?
Joshua Vautour: AirVM is the world’s leading cloud enablement software company. We build software that makes it incredibly simple for our solution providers, software companies and multi-tier channels to sell, brand, customize, manage and bill for their cloud services. Our company leads the global industry as the only cloud platform capable of supporting all aspects of cloud business sold through traditional multi-tier distribution as well as direct to end customer models. Thousands of service providers, resellers and customers have processed millions of transactions through the AirVM platform.
So are you a cloud provider or enabler for service providers?
At AirVM, our sole reason for being is to enable our solution provider, managed service provider and independent software vendor channels to sell their cloud services through any go-to-market model. To deliver on this commitment, we remain focused on 3 core objectives:
Make it simple: simple to sell cloud services with existing business tools and processes
Make it flexible: full flexibility in support of brand, portfolio strategy and go-to-market models
Make it future proof: AirVM cloud software is vCloud Powered and VMware Ready certified to increase the service provider’s profitability by leveraging investments and future commitments in VMware Cloud Automation.
Who are your customers and target market?
AirVM’s target market are service providers, aggregators, software companies and channel partners that want to sell cloud services to generate new revenues. The AirVM solution is the only cloud marketplace platform purpose-built for VMware providing the most feature-rich automation with VMware vCloud Director, vSphere and vCloud Networking & Security – for this reason, the VMware vCloud Air Network Service Providers are AirVM’s primary customers.
Tell us more about your technology?
The solution, called AirSembly, makes it incredibly simple for a service provider to brand, customize, sell, provision, manage and bill for all types of cloud services including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DaaS, BUaaS and DRaaS. AirSembly leads the industry as the only commercialization platform purpose-built to support multi-tier channel business models, from distribution to direct and everywhere in-between. AirSembly is a complete turnkey platform which allows a service provider to quickly monetize their cloud services and stay ahead of their competitors.
AirSembly has 3 core components:
- A marketplace storefront that allows a service provider to customize and brand their cloud product catalogue for any service, at any interval, private as well as public clouds, and also for individual sales channels and customers (external or internal). The storefront display and shopping experience is easy to use and optimized for smartphones and tablets.
- Automated billing & chargeback is supported at each level in the multi-tier distribution channel for all types of cloud services. Both credit card (pre-paid) and invoicing (post-paid) options are available including automatic invoicing and multi-language, multi-currency and multi-jurisdictional tax support.
- In terms of automation & provisioning, a service provider can integrate their cloud services into their existing commercial business workflows and track and report their critical sales information at all levels in the sales channel. IaaS provisioning for VMware is fully automated for virtual data centres, virtual machines, networks and firewalls – other products can be manually provisioned.
How are your products sold?
AirVM has dedicated sales professionals that work directly with service providers to enable their cloud services. The AirVM platform is sold as an enterprise software application that runs in the service provider’s environment. Pricing for the AirSembly platform is based on a simple monthly subscription of consumption based on points – there are no set-up costs, no maintenance fees, and no server-based fees.
We saw you were at VMware PEX this year. Any highlights you would like to share?
AirVM was a gold sponsor at VMware Partner Exchange 2015 and announced the latest version of its AirSembly portal, AirSembly for vCloud® Air™. With this announcement, AirVM will provide VMware vCloud Air Network Managed Service Providers (MSPs) a turnkey portal they can quickly adapt to their own businesses and immediately begin reselling VMware’s leading cloud service, vCloud Air. By doing so, AirVM is offering its managed service provider customers months of development while simultaneously giving access to completely new revenue streams.
What’s AirVM’s view of cloud computing trends?
A key trend in the industry is the adoption of the hybrid cloud model where enterprises manage their workloads in both an internal private cloud and an external public cloud. There are 2 perspectives on the hybrid cloud:
- For enterprises, IT managers have built their private clouds for their internal business units to meet the demands of performance, compliance and security. The enterprise business unit needs an IT-as-a-Service infrastructure that is easy-to-use, quick to set-up, and low-cost like the available public cloud utilities. Consequently, enterprises are looking at hybrid clouds solutions because they allow the IT manager to retain control of their IT environment and at the same time use the public cloud when they need scalability and flexibility for their workloads.
- At the same time, service providers want to unlock the enterprise workloads from the internal private clouds and manage them in their public offering. To do this, service providers need an easy-to-use hybrid cloud solution that makes it very simple for enterprises to quickly buy and consume their IT resources and move the workloads back and forth between their private cloud and the public cloud. At the same time, service providers need to assure the enterprises that the hybrid cloud is at the least the same (and ideally better) in terms of performance, security and cost.
What can you tell us about your cloud strategy for the next few years?
AirVM sees cloud services as the world’s next major utility, just like electricity and water. Hybrid clouds are a major industry trend that offer enterprises the affordability and accessibility of a public cloud while providing the option of privacy and security for sensitive data. AirVM will empower service providers with cloud enablement solutions that will meet the needs of the enterprise for managing their business. AirVM’s strategy is to continue to bring an innovative cloud platform to service providers that in turn will allow the service providers to grow their business with their end-customers.
Your single biggest priority in 2015?
Continuing to provide unique and compelling cloud enablement solutions to service providers that have built their business on the world’s leading IT virtualization technology, VMware. The AirVM platform provides the most feature-rich automation with VMware’s technology. In 2014, AirVM was the first VMware Independent Software Vendor (ISV) ecosystem partner to deliver VMware vCloud Air Network service providers a turnkey cloud marketplace portal, purpose built for vCloud Director (vCD) v5.6. In early 2015, AirVM announced that the platform will support the VMware vCloud Air Service. Stay tuned for more AirVM announcements in 2015 as the platform is enhanced to allow service providers to substantially grow their cloud businesses.
Joshua Vautour serves as CEO and is a Member of the Board of Directors at AirVM, a company he helped found in 2008. Josh is one of those rare people who sees and responds to opportunity ahead of the market. Josh started AirVM while managing networks and operations for a large Canadian tech company. Under his leadership, AirVM has grown to become a global leader in the cloud enablement software market with offices in the USA, Canada, UK. Prior to starting AirVM, Josh held senior positions at Zip, Rebel, Pool and ExpertHost.
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