Cloud Software Firm ownCloud Gives Hosting Partners Marketing, Tech Support

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ownCloud, the commercial organization behind the open source ownCloud cloud file sharing sotware, launched a partner program Wednesday, offering partners who distribute the platform access to customer referrals, discounts, marketing assistance and technical support.

The list of prospective partners includes hardware makers, who can pre-load the technology onto their equipment, as well as hosting service providers and smaller-scale consulting firms. ownCloud says it has designed go-to-market programs for a few different customer types.

“Our partners have ample opportunity to leverage their expertise – whether hardware, hosted services, or consulting and implementation skills – to build margin with a competitive addition to their portfolio,” says Holger Dyroff, founder and vice president of sales and marketing at ownCloud. “Customers get an      innovative, secure and flexible answer to their file sharing pains. It is a win-win for everyone.”

In the announcement, ownCloud says it s community edition offers “the ease of use of Dropbox with a more flexible, secure offering,” a business model being pursued aggressively by a handful of software firms, including Dropbox itself. And ownCloud isn’t the only one that sees hosting providers as an appropriate channel.

Earlier this week, software firm Basho launched its Riak CS cloud storage software platform, with an emphasis on helping hosting providers to deliver cloud storage solutions.

Also this week, Gladinet released verison 4.0 of its cloud storage software, including more facilities to enable hosting providers to deliver cloud storage.

In January, the VMware-owned Mozy announced that it had added a Dropbox-like cloud storage function to its cloud backup offering, which is also service provider friendly.

Talk back: are you offering customers a file sharing or cloud storage service similar to Dropbox? Are you using one of the many software platforms available? How do you thin the “like Dropbox but for business” market is going to shake out? Let us know in the comments.

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