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Canadian Cloud Computing Network launches Cloud Ecosystem Accelerator Program with innovation clusters in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver

Initiative program will challenge the status quo by helping innovative Canadian cloud computing companies to gain new access to government and private sector markets.

June 26, Toronto – The Canada Cloud Network (CCN) is a proactive network of like-minded professionals that focus on the latest technology innovation to benefit citizens, reduce government spending and spur Canadian leadership in the cloud computing space.

In parallel, the federal government has indicated an interest in using public procurement to support the competitiveness and growth of smaller Canadian technology companies. CCN’s new Cloud Ecosystem Accelerator Program (CEAP) will be a powerful connection mechanism between participating companies and governments.

“Cloud computing has not been aggressively adopted by Canadian business and governments because of general inertia, latent security concerns and poor packaging of solutions across companies,” said Neil McEvoy, CEO of L5 Consulting Inc. and founder of the CCN. “Canadian technology SMEs have trouble selling to the federal government with the current complex and lengthy procurement system that favours major players. Larger companies understandably have the resources to be successful. The SMEs we have polled generally believe that government contracts are ‘done deals’ with the large suppliers, and so the RFP bid process is a pointless formality. CEAP is designed to change the status quo and help smaller promising cloud computing companies to band together and get in the game in a big way.”

The CEAP will offer the following:

  • Services platform – Document a plan for implementing a Canadian “Cloud Service Broker”
  • Joint marketing and sales campaigns initially targeting the federal government and then provincial and municipal governments and the private sector
  • A marketplace for SMEs to post their cloud services to more easily sell them to the government
  • Publish Canadian GovCloud best practices – Make it easy for small business suppliers to create government-compliant cloud hosting services
  • Campaign promotion – Provide a central marketing function to promote the services and companies of participating SME suppliers
  • Investment capital – Help attract new venture capital investment to the Canadian market

“Additionally, three CEAP Innovation Clusters are planned in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa,” commented Howard Oliver, CEO of What If What Next, a Toronto-based marketing communications and PR firm, and CMO of CEAP. “The clusters will create a strong centrifugal force for collaboration.”

The CEAP clusters will initially focus on creating a branded ecosystem for participating Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Integrator/Consultant companies. Solutions will be offered for cloud based e-government, ecommerce solutions and business continuity services.

In isolation, SMBs often do not have the capacity to effectively market their cloud computing solutions. Targeted co-marketing activities conducted by CEAP on behalf of ecosystem companies will drive leads, brand awareness and revenue from private and public sector organizations seeking trusted cloud providers. A strong brand for the Canadian Cloud Computing Ecosystem will be created with co-operative marketing and sales campaigns.

CEAP’s long-term objective is to create an open marketplace model, where end-user agencies are freed from having to buy through the central RFP process and can instead shop freely through a pre-determined supplier catalogue, one populated by CEAP SMEs. In cloud terms, this is known as a “Cloud Service Broker”, and offers various benefits:

  • Single contract vehicle for all levels of Canadian government and associated benefits, notably maximizing supplier discounts
  • Workflow automation – Service brokers automate quoting, order management and many other aspects of eProcurement for IT services

“Companies participating in the CEAP clusters will be able to compete effectively against large companies for federal government business and beyond,” added McEvoy. “Initial interest has been strong.”

Industry has also voiced their strong support:

Brian Fry, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Canadian cloud provider RackForce stated: “We applaud CCN for launching this initiative. All Canadians win when we have a healthy Cloud Ecosystem and a plan to enable government procurement from technology SMEs is a great way to make this happen.”

“The benefits of cloud environments and Software as a Service models are quickly being consumed by enterprises worldwide. The CCN is creating great exposure for what’s possible in the cloud by enabling corporate Canada to better adopt these next generation IT services” said Alex Topitsch, CEO of Futurestate IT.

About the Cloud Computing Network: The CCN is a proactive network of like-minded professionals that focus on the latest technology innovation and hot industry topics, actively supporting members through major technology and marketing initiatives, web resources for information and conversations on the cloud computing space, workshops and networking events, publishing articles, white papers and press releases, and networking and partnership opportunities. CNN also offers sales and marketing services to promote new ventures and innovative products. For further information, please visit http://canadacloud.net or contact us directly.

Contact: Howard Oliver, What If What Next, Direct Line: 416-568-5254, Office: Tel: 905-709-8582. Email: [email protected]

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