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Parallels splits company to target US$100 billion Cloud service provider market

Brian Karlovsky | May 25, 2015
New business named Odin, in a nod to Norwegian chief executive, Birger Steen.

Parallels and Odin chief executive, Birger Steen.
Parallels and Odin chief executive, Birger Steen.

Parallels has spun off its enterprise virtualisation business in a bid to hone in on service providers and the $100 billion Cloud market.

The new company has been named Odin, a nod to the company's chief executive, Birger Steen's Norwegian descent, while Parallels will keep the desktop hypervisor business.

Odin, which now has 150 enterprise customers, including Telstra, iiNet, OzHosting and Uber, provides software to small and local hosters, as well as bigger customers.

The software includes web server management, server virtualisation, provisioning and billing automation.

It has more than 10,000 service provider in 15 countries.

Steen told ARN he decided to split the company as there were two distinctly different businesses after the acquisition of Parallels back in 2008.

"Since the acquisition of Parallels as a business by our company back in 2008, we have essentially been in two distinctly different businesses, different customers , different go-to-market," he said.

"About two years' ago we tried to deal with the consequences of that and tried and make sure as few people in the company had two jobs.

He said the transition had been very successful and had provided a boost to both sides of the house.

"But this last calendar year we got to the point where we had almost completed that and we sat down to see in 2015, do we really want to have a website which sells two different things? The answer to that is obviously no," he said.

"We have been able to separate the websites - much cleaner," he said.

"Our parallels products are still the preferred way to run windows on a mac and two-thirds of our business is actually coming online through our website." "I'm still the CEO of both and I am on of the very few people in the company with two jobs.

He said the business aim of Odin remained the same: to make and deliver software for Cloud service providers.

"It's irrational for a business to be running its own IT in a back room, you should have a professional doing it," he said.

"And that's an industry we have been trying to serve. That will remain the focus of Odin and its business, where we are seeing tremendous growth going forward.".

Odin has also recently joined OpenStack as a gold member and has integrated Virtuozzo with HPs Helion and Cisco's Intercould -- while work is also underway to integrate Softlayer.

Steen said there had been some speculation, ever since the big hyberscale providers started emerging - Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Rackspace - that the game in Cloud services would be all about direct relationships between the big hyperscale providers and the end customers.


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