It’s been 2 months since I left my role as GM of the Hosting Channel at Microsoft and joined Parallels as the VP of Alliances. I was at Microsoft for almost 16 years and gained respect for the hosting industry and the many great companies that strive to be top service providers. I made the change for 1 main reason, the opportunity to grow Parallels as a top partner to the hosting community. Microsoft gets it. The hosting channel is strategic for them and there is a ton of work happening to make their products hoster friendly. This ranges from Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V and System Center to Exchange Server 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010 and the new Lync 2010.

In all my presentations, I evangelize that hosters increase their profitability by bundling services. Microsoft leaves that capability to either in-house development, or to a partner, which is a huge opportunity in my new position. Parallels believes that in-house development is not a long term sustainable option due to the rapid changing demands of the customer. Parallels enables service providers to focus on creating service plans and going to market versus trying to figure out how to integrate. Our goal is to develop a rich ecosystem of SaaS IVSs that hosting providers can partner with. Obviously, Microsoft’s applications are key to this ecosystem. We support many Microsoft products today and will continue to add more.

For instance, I am really excited about Parallels® Plesk Panel 10, which is now available and supports Microsoft IIS 7 natively. It is an easy, profitable, and complete server automation solution that will help hosting providers profitably grow their business. It runs on both Windows and Linux and now has parity between the two. The two products used to be two different codebases, but now they are one so Windows does not lag on features vs. Linux. Plesk 10 also supports ASP.NET 4.0 and SQL server.

Let’s continue the conversation.

John Zanni
Vice President, Alliances
jzanni@parallels.com