Discount cloud offered to not-for-profit organisations

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Discount cloud offered to not-for-profit organisations
Gordon Tan

Queensland's R&G Technologies has launched an infrastructure-as-a-service platform for the non-profit sector, offered at 30 percent below retail prices.

R&G has partnered with Connecting Up – an organisation that manages the distribution of donated and discounted technology products to the non-profit sector.

Gordon Tan, managing director of R&G, told CRN that physical servers would be hosted in the company's two Brisbane data centres, and clients will be able to buy virtual machines at a highly discounted rate.

"We're not expecting to make a huge amount of money with this," said Tan. "It's more about an opportunity to connect with non-profit organisations and increase our profile. Doing something good [for the community]."

Tan said that the company has a strong history in serving non-for-profit customers, and through that involvement it already had a "pretty strong relationship" with Connecting Up. However, the new IaaS service will be the first formal professional alliance between the two partners.

The service will be supported by Microsoft Azure Pack technology and will involve two data centres for redundancy and backup. Three different plans will be offered, starting with a basic package of two virtual CPUs, 8GB RAM, 100GB storage and 50GB internet data.

The supply agreement with Connecting Up will initially be for 24 months, with an option for renewal depending on the success of the platform.

"Both sides will feel how it goes. But if it goes well there are plans to expand the program into New Zealand," said Tan. "We'll see if it’ll be of interest to NFPs, and see if it's viable against public clouds like AWS and Azure.

"It is a race to the bottom with those public clouds, but we hope the non-profit organisations see value in the extra support we provide."

Connecting Up chief Anne Gawen said: "Not-for-profit organisations need choices around affordable access to cloud technology hosted in Australia. Thanks to the commitment by R&G Technologies to support the sector, not-for-profits now have a low-cost cloud infrastructure service available to them."

Tan told CRN that R&G had won the right to supply the Connecting Up IaaS platform through a tender. "They were looking for specialisation in IaaS and competitive pricing, obviously. We also showed a capacity to handle scaling, with potential for thousands of members."

A statement from R&G Technologies cited Xavier Children's Support Network's experience in migration to the cloud as a model example of how the community sector could benefit.

"We have been very impressed at the outcome of all projects, and have seen productivity increase and IT headaches drop dramatically," said Lynn Card, CEO of Xavier Children's Support Network.

R&G is headquartered in Brisbane with branches in Sydney and Melbourne. The abbreviation stands for Ronnie and Gordon, representing Gordon – co-owner with wife Mimi – and his father Ronnie, who co-founded the company.

Connecting Up is the ANZ branch of the international TechSoup network. The organisation manages donations from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Symantec and SAP for distribution to needy institutions.

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