Unified cloud services provider PanTerra Networks announced the addition of new mobile functionality to its SmartBox cloud file-sharing and storage service to deliver real-time collaboration and unified communications (UC) capabilities.
SmartBox-UCC combines the functionality of the company's Mobile Unified Cloud Communications (UCC) application with the SmartBox file-sharing application for a more unified offering aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
Additionally, the platform offers improved security features, including built-in multi-factor authentication (MFA), in-transit and at-rest encryption, as well as remote blocking, and is available for Apple and Android operating systems.
"When using cloud-based storage, the power to directly protect your data is shared between you and your cloud service provider. Choosing a vendor with strong security measures and a dedicated security team in place to complement your internal security measures will provide maximum protection for your business," Arthur Chang, CEO of PanTerra Networks, told eWEEK. "Cyber-security is a whole new ball game, and remains today one of the weakest links in the system."
SmartBox-UCC builds in UC features, such as audio and video calling and conferencing, secure instant messaging (IM), and presence and full Web meeting collaboration, to forge a unified application.
In addition, SmartBox-UCC uses push technology to reduce battery drain and provide delivery of messages and calls when a mobile device is turned off or the app is in background mode.
The application uses WiFi, 3G or 4G cellular networks, and can be downloaded through the Apple or Google Play app stores.
"Today's workplace depends on sharing content and communications; with the number of freelancers, consultants and home-based workers [increasing], being able to share and collaborate is not a nice-to-have but a need-to-have," Chang said. "As this trend continues, fueled by millennials entering the workforce, more and more data will be uploaded and accessed via mobile technology than by more conventional methods, and the question then becomes, can the cloud manage all that content?"
PanTerra also allows customers to deploy full end-to-end management of its cloud services, last-mile bandwidth and associated networking equipment.
The application implements full multi-phase authentication and encrypted communications across a range of devices, including desktops, tablets, smartphones and SIP-based IP phones.
Unified communication features will become more important over time for two reasons, Chang said. First, from a business perspective, the unified approach not only provides "one throat to choke," but also it only requires one set of entrance fees to cover overhead costs, saving significant IT expense monthly.
"The other major factor is productivity. It reduces overlapping work and tasks, increases responsiveness, speeds development cycles and improves customer service," Chang said. "By integrating unified communications with file, sync and share capabilities, a worker can have access to any phone call, email, document, instant message, voice mail, fax or contact from anywhere as if they were in their office."