Parallels Summit 2012: Q&A, Birger Steen

We spoke to the CEO of Parallels about how his vision for the company is panning out and what he still wants to achieve.

We put a team on the ground in the Latin market and we have some really visible customer wins. We refreshed our team in Russia so have great momentum there and we hired a new head of Europe. He's [Jesper Frederiksen] a Dane located in London. He was the head of EMEA for so we're very happy [to have him on board].

Of course, there are a lot of things I would have liked to have accomplished last year but many of them we did and it feels like we have made some progress.

In your keynote yesterday you talked of the trillion dollar opportunity. While there's great scope for Parallels and your customers are you concerned other players will enter the market, lured by such an opportunity?

We have been paranoid since we started. This is such cool business we've expected this to become an incredibly competitive battleground for some time. It turns out our best customers continue to thrive.

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The cloud services enablement platform the fence we've had is the hoster market has been a fairly secluded part of the IT market for most people. And serving SMBs has never been seen as particularly sexy in the IT business.

Aside from a couple of exceptions, the SMB market has been an afterthought for most people. That continues to be the case. Every time we sit down with potential investors, analysts or journalists we keep hearing the question "When are you going to start competing in the big datacentres with VMware and so on?" and we say "We aren't." We are not in the business of moving Bank of America's datacentre from A to B, we're in the business of helping hundreds of millions of small businesses get the best IT delivered off-premise. That's a different business altogether.

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