Parallels Launches Hosted PBX, Cloud Infrastructure Services

The company now offers support for Microsoft Office 365 and Hyper-V Cloud, among other services.

Hosting and cloud services specialist Parallels announced the introduction of cloud infrastructure and hosted PBX platforms, as well as support for Microsoft Office 365 Syndication and Hyper-V Cloud.

Parallels is also increasing its investment in facilitating APS (application packaging standard)-enabled solutions to help ISVs profit from the cloud. Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure can be managed through an integrated management panel, enabling IT professionals to self-create, self-scale and self-manage virtual data centers. The infrastructure supports service delivery components like provisioning, billing and self-service management.

Service providers can deploy Microsoft's System Center Hyper-V Cloud virtualization with Parallels Automation. This enables them to manage Hyper-V virtual machines, offer self-service control panels and implement a multitier reseller channel using Microsoft System Center and Parallels Automation. Parallels also expanded the suite of Microsoft products available to service providers with the addition of Hyper-V support. Other solutions available include Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server, Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Online Services syndication.

"Cloud infrastructure services are powered by a number of different technologies, and hosting customers buy various types of hosted applications built by different technology vendors. The challenge for hosters is to support and automate the delivery of as many of these technologies as possible," said Philbert Shih, senior analyst for hosting at Tier1 Research. "This is crucial because accommodating different technologies helps hosters maximize their market opportunity while delivering choice and flexibility to customers."

To accelerate the delivery of new APS-enabled solutions, Parallels has developed a program to provide a network of system integrators that can help service providers to APS package their offerings. System integrators include ActiveCloud, Komtet, Softec and iSynergy.

New additions to the APS catalog include Kaltura, used to launch cloud-based media services and deliver cloud-based applications that integrate video, rich media and UGC/social networking and extend cloud-based experiences to virtually any device, across managed or unmanaged networks; and Smarsh, which provides hosted solutions for archiving electronic communications, including e-mail, instant messaging, mobile messaging and social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

According to Parallels' "SMB Cloud Insights" report released last year, small to medium-size business (SMB) cloud consumption has hit the mass adoption curve with the cloud services market valued at $10.6 billion in 2010. This market opportunity will increase to $28.6 billion, and small businesses with fewer than 100 employees are the foundation of this market. They account for over 80 percent of the total market spending and over 95 percent of all U.S. SMBs, according to report.

"SMBs' cloud consumption has hit the wide adoption curve and [is] driving a sea change in the cloud industry," said Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels. "They are demanding a trusted, full-service provider to deliver the integrated and complete portfolio of IT services they need. Today, there aren't many that can provide the full service offering or keep up with the increasing expectations from their customers. Partnering is the only way service providers will meet the growing needs of SMB and stay competitive."

Steen said service providers need to adjust to remain competitive in the industry as SMBs are asking their traditional IT providers for cloud services, driving new, well-funded entrants into the market. "The service provider must offer a full set of integrated services to grow profit and reduce churn," he said. "With the right partners, they can do that and can continue to drive efficiency, accelerating growth through reinvestment."