Cloud service provider PanTerra Networks announced the launch of SmartBox, a file-sharing service with built-in unified communications capabilities aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
With SmartBox, once content is shared with a user or group, it automatically shows each individual's real-time presence and notifies the user when the recipient downloads the file.
The user can then call, IM, email, deskshare or conduct a Web or video conference meeting with anyone in the world within the same application, while sub-folder sharing and flexible share privileges make it possible to organize and share any document with who needs it.
SmartBox is available through the company directly or a participating PanTerra partner. Pricing starts at $15 per month for new SmartBox users, while existing PanTerra WorldSmart customers can upgrade for $5 per month with pooled cloud storage costs of $10 per 100GB per month. The company is also offering a free 14-day trial of the platform.
"Mobility has impacted the data center in numerous ways, and one of the biggest areas of impact has been the exponential increase in the number of tools and applications IT has to manage and secure. Collapsing core collaboration platforms, like file sharing and communications, into one application makes sense," Terri McClure, senior analyst at ESG, said in a statement. "I've been waiting for a vendor to converge file store, sync and share capabilities with unified communications. Employees have a single platform, and IT now only has to administer one platform that handles person-to-person collaboration from file sharing to IM, email and VoIP."
In addition, with SmartBox, team members can use the online workspace to monitor, view and modify content from anywhere on any device in real time. SmartBox integrates PanTerra Admin 5.0 administration portal, which is designed to enhance security and reduce the need to implement and manage third-party security applications.
Built-in management tools provide authentication of all devices accessing SmartBox, reducing the need for businesses to purchase, implement and manage separate or multiple security applications.
Other tools include remote management and control of all access devices, should a device be lost or stolen, the ability to define any user or users within an account to be an administrator and define multiple administrator levels and group administration capabilities and feature-management capabilities, allowing administrators to restrict features on a per-user basis.
"There has been little innovation in the file-sharing and unified communications spaces in recent years," Arthur Chang, CEO of PanTerra Networks, said in a statement. "Collaboration happens on multiple levels, and while new store, sync and share technologies have added some enhancement features, there's still a huge gap in the market to create IT solutions that impact the top line and truly give businesses a competitive edge. With SmartBox, we've combined the best of both the cloud file sharing and unified communications worlds to create a truly powerful, game-changing solution for mid-market enterprises."