This week saw New Orleans host the annual Parallels summit (disclosure – Parallels covered my T&E to attend the show). Parallels is probably best known to the general public for the software it produces that allows MacOS users to run Windows applications on their machines. Given the headlong consumer and business rush into the cloud, and the adoption of more web-applications however, this particular part of Parallels business is in decline and so the other parts of their business come to the fore. Update, Parallels CEO Birger Steen pinged me to say that the business isn’t in decline but that growth is less than previously. In his words: …our cross-platform business is still growing, just less fast than when Mac shipments were up 20%+ YoY.  Specifically, our solution for businesses, Parallels Desktop Enterprise with Parallels Mac Management, is close to doubling year on year as CIOs are asked by their CEOs to allow Macs into their infrastructure. Parallels’ other two area of business are tools for web hosters, and service provider enablement. Those might be unfamiliar terms but broadly speaking the former relates to control panel tools such as Plesk that Parallels produces to help hosters control all the different customers and resources related to the services they provide. The latter category, service provider enablement, is more interesting – essentially Parallels has a suite of tools that allows third parties (perhaps an IT service company, or a Telco looking to broaden its offerings) to bundle up different services and then sell them to customers – essentially it’s the platform on top of which third parties can create marketplaces and automation tools to supply their customers with products. Update, to clarify Parallels service provider lines, the company has three distinct product groupings. One is control panels (which is actually available both on AWS and Rackspace), two is Parallels Automation, which automates billing, provisioning and workflow not only for telcos but also for larger service providers and third is the server virtualization software, Parallels Cloud Server. 

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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