Parallels Announces Public Beta of Hosted Control Panel

Virtualization company Parallels opens up a public beta for its hosted control panel software, Parallels Panel 10 SMB Edition.

Virtualization and automation company Parallels launched the public beta of Parallels Panel 10 SMB Edition - a hosted control panel software aimed at helping hosting and cloud services providers broaden their offerings and better meet small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) needs. The solution introduces Parallels Partner Marketplace, which Parallels said enables hosters to enter the software-as-a-service (SAAS) market and provides SMBs access to a number of IT and business applications, including e-commerce, customer relationship management, human resources, accounting, video conferencing, Web content management and e-mail.

"Parallels has been working on a number of best-of-breed ISVs over recent years to launch these offerings," said the company's president of service provider division Jack Zubarev. "We're bringing ISVs and hosters together and helping both become more profitable."The company is positioning Partner Marketplace as the central feature of Parallels Panel 10 SMB Edition control panel, which lets hosters profit from the (SAAS) market by offering the most popular applications through the control panel, including Interspire's e-mail marketing and Pinnacle Cart's e-Commerce shopping cart.

"Interspire's e-Mail Marketer and Knowledge Manager Application enables businesses to grow faster and as such are ideal applications to add to Parallels Partner Marketplace," said Interspire CEO Eddie Machaalani. "Hosters can readily deliver our business-critical applications to their customers to increase revenue, while Parallels takes care of the set-up, provisioning, billing and management of the applications."

Small businesses utilize the Marketplace directly from their control panel and can self-serve hosted and desktop applications with a few clicks of the mouse, from managing users to websites and domains, to e-mail, applications and scripts. "We are happy to have joined forces with Parallels Partner Marketplace," said Pinnacle Cart founder and vice president of product development Craig Fox. "Parallels Partner Marketplace lets hosters deliver SaaS quickly and cost-effectively and simultaneously provides SMBs with the applications they need to stay competitive. Now we can easily offer our e-Commerce Shopping Cart to potentially millions of SMBs through Parallels Partner Marketplace."

Parallels also said Panel 10 SMB edition also helps hosters develop new revenue streams by offering their midmarket customers add-on on applications like SpamAssassin, Helpdesk, Tomcat, ColdFusion and MSSQL for increased average revenue per user (ARPU). The company offers hundreds of commercial business applications through its APS Catalog and also offers a "power plan" that grants end users (SMBs) access to the entire application library. Other features include a site builder tool to help create professional-looking Websites, roles-based user set up, which allows users to see only the tools designated for them and collaboration and productivity tools such as time tracking, CRM, file sharing and blogs.

"Our SMB customers have been waiting for a control panel that doesn't require technical knowledge or design skills to build and manage their IT operations, said Amy Armitage, director of business development for SMB-focused Web hosting company Lunarpages. "Parallels Panel SMB Edition meets this critical business need and takes it one-step further with on-demand software that SMBs need to compete and thrive.