This is a guest post by writer Andy Meek 

ProfitBricks, a global cloud infrastructure provider, has big ambitions despite not yet having widespread name recognition. The Boston-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) company this week announced the launch of a foundation program for the startup community.

Amazon, with its cloud computing power, is the giant in the space. But ProfitBricks — the company that launched in a major way in the U.S. in September — wants to change that and believes it has the tech to back up that goal.

The reason why might not seem obvious at first. But it is intended to directly help the company’s larger mission.

The ProfitBricks Foundation Program is rolling out initially in New England and then nationwide in 2013. Through it, the company is offering startups the possibility of getting virtual data centers at a sharply reduced cost for one year.

Startups are a key market for Profitbricks. And by offering incentives for ProfitBricks’ next generation cloud computing services, it lowers the risk for a startup to try an alternative to Amazon. Companies with below $1 million in revenue will be eligible to use a cloud server from ProfitBricks for one year without cost. They’ll also get 20 percent off their IaaS services from ProfitBricks for one year.

“Our goal is to offer ProfitBricks’ virtual data center technology to startups who value access to cost-effective, next-generation cloud computing services,” said ProfitBricks USA CEO Bob Rizika.

Or, in other words, the goal is to add incentives where possible to further motivate startups to look outside the Kingdom of Bezos. And in a broader sense, the ProfitBricks story is one of a team of German computer engineers who regarded Amazon as forcing customers into buying packages they might not fully need.

The company was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Achim Weiss and Andreas Gauger. And with funding from the founders and United Internet, ProfitBricks built and is offering virtual data center technology with a host of benefits – flexible user defined instances, live vertical scaling capability, double redundant cloud storage — with basic minute-based billing. The team spent time and money to create ProfitBricks’ IaaS environment and presence, which now includes more than 100 team members from 17 countries.

They’re not the only ones attempting something similar. Along those same lines of pay-per-use economics, HP this week announced its HP FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program at an event in London. According to HP, the new program allows communications service providers in collaboration with HP to help enterprise customers modernize their network with prepackaged network solutions with no upfront cost involved. Customers then work with the CSP for the network offerings they need on a pay-per-use basis, according to the company.


Andy Meek is a journalist in Memphis who frequently contributes to outlets including Fast Company, Forbes, Politico, and several tech blogs.

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