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Zynstra: "SMBs deserve the same advanced IT capabilities available to large enterprises"

The IT world is constantly evolving. One of the main challenges for smaller organisations is gaining access to the same calibre products as larger competitors. While many enterprise service providers have their sights firmly set on snagging the big fish, some firms are honing in on the SMB market. With a view to exploring this trend further, we sat down with Zynstra CEO Nick East, who told us how fully managed hybrid cloud solutions can help budding enterprises realise their ambitions in a time and cost efficient manner.

Tell us about Zynstra, what are you launching, and what you do

Zynstra is a software company, headquartered in Bath. We were founded in 2011 and since then have been working on reinventing how small and medium-sized businesses buy and manage IT. In a nutshell, we passionately believe that SMBs need and deserve the same advanced IT capabilities that are available in most large enterprises. And that's what we're launching - we're bringing hybrid cloud technology to SMBs.

For a monthly fee with no up-front cost, Zynstra gives SMBs with up to 250 employees a fully managed IT solution that combines the reliability and security of on-premise IT with the economics and flexibility of the cloud.

So how does it work?

We 'miniaturise' private cloud technology and deliver it to the customer's premises. The hardware is HP ProLiant servers and the entire thing is managed through the cloud by a service provider with software updates are controlled by Zynstra. It is delivered on a per-user, per-month basis so there is no up-front cost.

What makes Zynstra different from other cloud providers?

Well, for starters it is a truly hybrid model: on-premise IT but managed via the cloud. We're not aware of any other company that offers that for SMBs. Secondly, at the core of what we do is the guiding principle of standardisation. We believe that standardisation is the key to cost-effective and reliable IT, so we've developed patent-pending 'keep current' and 'keep consistent' technologies to make sure that the solutions we deliver stay 100 per cent identical across all customer sites. We call it built-in reliability.

Our solution is not just a scaled down version of enterprise technology, or a scaled up product built for consumers - we've re-imagined a hybrid cloud solution and built it from the ground up for SMBs.

How tech savvy do you need to be to use Zynstra? Many SMB owners may not be familiar with hybrid cloud solutions, so why do they need it to run their business?

One of the benefits to SMBs is that they don't need to be tech savvy at all to use Zynstra. Everything is managed by the IT Service Provider and as a result, SMBs get all the benefits and functionality of a robust IT solution without any of the headaches, reliability issues and high costs. The fact that it's called hybrid cloud really doesn't matter. What's important are the benefits that the solution brings.

How do Zynstra's patent-pending 'keep current' and 'keep consistent' technologies work to provide built-in reliability?

Because Zynstra is standardised, it is highly reliable. This is part of Zynstra's 'secret sauce': our patent-pending technologies keep every single customer implementation 100 per cent identical and up-to-date, removing the inherent unreliability that comes with tinkering.

If you sell exclusively via the channel, what do the service providers get out of it?

The standardisation makes it significantly more cost-effective for service providers to support their customers. Ultimately, this means they can focus on value added services instead of worrying about day-to-day IT management. Because Zynstra is sold on a per user per month basis, it generates recurring high margin revenue streams for our partners.

Do you have any examples of customers who are already using the service?

Yes, whilst we've been in stealth mode, preparing for launch, we've been working with a number of customers. CyCell is one. It needed to establish a new IT infrastructure to support the increased headcount in the organisation whilst breaking away from a third party network it was leveraging but had no control over. It was looking for a service that would support its expansion, but with predictable costs in the future, and as such, CyCell has already seen benefits from using Zynstra' s Opex model.