Cloud stuff is happening with the Dutch incumbent. KPN Business has had its own cloud business for a while. KPN Corporate is selling cloud, most notably the Assured Dutch Cloud. Now KPN Wholesale has joined the ranks and launched the Open Cloud Store. There is a nice infographic (Dutch) that explains the concept on the KPN website.
The Open Cloud Store is an online distributor (aggregator or cloud service broker). It has a KPN vetted catalogue of third-party (approximately 20 vendors at launch) and KPN applications (cloud servers and storage) currently consisting of four main categories: Hosted Apps, Hosted Voice, Hosted Infrastructure, and Hosted VDI. Making it easier for partners to manage their cloud services portfolio, KPN automatically processes the order, delivery and payment processes. Partners can rebrand services, maintain customer relationships and use their own customer and billing data. KPN has first mover advantage with this concept in The Netherlands.
This turnkey approach should appeal to resellers and service providers that want to add cloud services to their existing portfolio but do not have the knowledge/capacity to do this themselves. As such it is an add-on revenue generator for the reseller but not a strong differentiator. In theory, resellers can add a button to their website to jumpstart sales. In practice it will take some effort to get things going.
It also should appeal to XaaS vendors that want another sales channel to reach the full SMB potential in the Dutch marketplace but do not have the sales power to go direct. In theory, vendors can add their product to the open cloud store and sales will magically appear. In practice, it will take some effort to get onboard.
At the moment it looks like there is no integration between the separate products in the Open Cloud Store other than order, delivery and payment. As such we think it will be difficult for a reseller of Open Cloud Store products to compete with converged solutions from a single vendor such as Vodafone OneNet. We believe the Open Cloud Store products will appeal more to resellers that want to sell these as accessories rather than core products. This is another sign that communications and connectivity could quickly become feature and function rather than product and service.
With the Open Cloud Store, KPN is putting another brick in the wall of their multi-brand and multi-channel business market strategy. KPN Corporate and KPN business and their partners and resellers cover the large and medium sized corporations. Yes Telecom, Telfort, XS4All and their resellers cover the small business market. KPN Wholesale, through MVNO agreements and the Open Cloud Store captures additional network revenues and resale value from XaaS vendors and resellers.
There is an increasing supply of ICT turnkey and white label reseller solutions available on the market that bundle cloud, IT, and Telecom products. This is a sign that the market is commoditizing. Once more, resellers should ask themselves what their core differentiator is. SMB resellers specialising in communications, compute, and storage products should wake up to the fact that their core products can now be sold by 3rd parties as accessory parts to other services. With just one click.