VCE-powered Aussie cloud startup to go public

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VCE-powered Aussie cloud startup to go public

Perth cloud startup Cloud Lands Digital Fortress has revealed plans to deploy coast to coast data services and is the subject of a potential acquisition by an ASX-listed mining exploration company.

The Perth outfit, which was established in December 2013, intends to offer "premium" enterprise-grade cloud services to Tier 2 enterprises and SMEs initially from a partner's Perth data centre then also from facilities on the east coast.

Cloud Lands intends for the service to be operated and supported by a "Tier 1 global multibillion dollar" IT services and hardware supplier, whose name hasn't been revealed yet.

Cloud Lands also intends to use a "world leading global multibillion dollar" networking and computing hardware vendor and a "pre-eminent" global security equipment and software supplier. The service will be hosted on a Cisco, VMware and EMC-based Vblock platform from VCE.

Details of the plans are contained in an announcement by Resource Star Limited, a Perth company with uranium interests that has secured an exclusive option to acquire Cloud Lands.  Resource Star has links back to 1868 under the retailer Gowings.

If the company exercises the option, the indicative timetable suggests the acquisition could be complete by 17 November this year, subject to due diligence, shareholder approval and other terms.

One of the key figures involved in Cloud Lands is Greg Pennefather, who was co-founder of broadband wholesaler Request DSL as well as former CEO of "clean power" company Enerji. He also has business experience spanning ICT consultancy, Internet telephony and hosting.

Pennefather said there was space in the market for a full service enterprise grade cloud provider targeting SMEs. He said the plan is to "slot in" underneath big outsourcing IT service providers and target customers with up to 200 seats or less.

"The SME market is the holy grail, if you like, because it is so large. But because it's so granular it is very difficult to crack it. That's where we're looking to go," he told CRN.

Other cloud service providers offering services and support to mid-size companies and SMEs "simply don't measure up" to the Tier 1 enterprise level services and support cloud Lands hopes to provide, claimed Resource Star chairman Andrew Bell.

"Our view is that the large cloud service providers offer a premium platform but little in the way of service or support to mid-size companies and SMEs, whereas those providers that do offer support tend to have lower end platforms," he said.

Channel partners are also on the agenda, with Pennefather telling CRN the company is looking to work with partners.

Cloud Lands also intends to provide "bare metal" infrastructure services for customers wanting enterprise class private cloud services.

Cloud Lands was founded by Ross Smith who along with Pennefather co-founded Request DSL.

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