Wednesday, 28 July 2010 06:39

Small Businesses Embrace Cloud Services To Grow Their Business

By Karen Bayley

Seven new commercially licensed APS applications, from collaboration to small business mobility, help Service Providers increase revenue and customer retention.

Cloud enablement leader, Parallels, today responded to the demands of small businesses by adding seven Cloud services to the Application Packaging Standard (APS) catalogue.

Parallels estimates that the small business need for Cloud services will grow to nearly US$19 billion by 2013 and service providers must develop a full service offering to meet this considerable opportunity and 'Profit from the Cloud'. With the recent incorporation of licensing capabilities in the APS 1.2 specification, service providers can now quickly and easily license, manage and offer applications that small businesses need and demand.

The latest applications allow small businesses to access essential tools like video conferencing, VoIP, client management, project management, mobile Website configuration, Webmail and shopping cart.

'Parallels enables over 5,000 Service Providers to deliver cloud services to more than 10 million small businesses in 125 countries,' said Nick Lallas, Vice President of Cloud Services at Parallels. 'We are committed to providing our Service Providers with the latest software-as-a-service solutions to help them differentiate their offerings, increase average revenue per user, and increase customer retention. We are extremely pleased these new solutions are available to our Partners to deliver a full range of profitable Cloud services.'

The complexity of IT can easily become an expensive and time-consuming distraction for small businesses. Acquiring applications and services through the Cloud removes both the significant initial expense of in-house IT operations, and simplifies decision-making as small businesses can get a range of services from a single provider they are already working with.

"Small businesses continue to change the way they procure and consume IT. In increasing numbers, they are buying their software as a service from the Cloud and moving away from traditional desktop software," said Philbert Shih, Senior Analyst, Hosting at Tier1 Research, a division of The 451 Group. "This sea change is creating a huge opportunity for service providers. But going it alone is not an easy or viable pathway. Service providers need the help of a partner, platform and ecosystem to equip them with the tools to profit from the Cloud."

Cloud Service Providers can get a first hand view of the newly packaged applications by registering for the Parallels Small Business Application Webinar Series, located at, under the 'Parallels SaaS' tab.

Key features of the APS packaged applications include:

Persony's Web Conferencing 2.0 is a private-label Web and video conferencing service designed to be hosted by corporations or service providers using their own Web servers. It enables small businesses to share desktops, give a sales presentation, conduct a webinar, or provide online training.

4PSA's VoiP Now is a software suite designed to simplify the deployment of Unified Communications services in the Cloud. The suite includes Professional, Automation and Core, three separate components that allow service providers to automate the delivery of a wide range of IP communication services that include hosted PBX, voice, video, presence, faxing, instant messaging and collaboration.

SugarCRM's customer relationship management (CRM) software helps businesses of all sizes identify and increase sales leads, shorten and optimise sales cycles, and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty - all at an affordable price. SugarCRM's software is simple to deploy and maintain, and the most user-friendly business software available today., the award-winning project management software, is changing the way millions of people collaborate via email and allows teams to get the convenience of real-time online collaboration in your email inbox. By combining the simplicity of email with revolutionary project productivity features and a fast, intuitive interface, Wrike doubles collaboration efficiency for thousands of teams worldwide.

Unity Mobile is the premier solution to mobilise small business, providing everything a small business needs to convert mobile opportunities to revenue. The solution features 3 easy steps to extend small businesses web presence into the mobile space and is backed by a comprehensive toolset to manage successful marketing and sales.

Atmail Webmail is a premium webmail offering with integrated calendar, contacts and more. Atmail provides service providers with a branded premium webmail offering, that has a fluid, intuitive interface and advanced functionally.

Pinnacle Cart is an easy-to-use, yet extremely powerful shopping cart and website builder application for small businesses focused on rapidly and cost effectively deploying, managing and growing a successful web-based business.


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