A new integrated virtual office communications service for SMBs has been rolled out at the Enterprise Connect trade show, underway in Orlando, Fla., this week.
Unified Office, of Portsmouth, N.H., is now marketing an open systems-based managed service platform that delivers a virtual office environment that can span a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Dubbed "Total Connect Now," the offering is being positioned as a solid story for managed service providers seeking to capitalize on the BYOD trend.
"BYOD has evolved into an important technology issue for managed service providers, as well as for the channel at large," said Ray Pasquale, CEO and founder of Unified Office. "Employees want to be able to access company resources using their own devices. Meanwhile, management and IT administrators are looking for effective ways of managing those devices and providing the necessary levels of security needed to protect the company. So, we are answering that need with secure, private cloud office virtualization suitable for small to medium businesses."
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Features include voice mail, audio/video conferencing, instant messaging, fax and a virtual receptionist.
"This is a full range of features that extends capabilities to SMB customers that were previously reserved for enterprise customers," Pasquale said. "We also provide backup and system monitoring to ensure that our customers are always up and running."
Pasquale added that the channel for this product is in a state of "flux," which is leading him to focus on a subset of the channel that he did not anticipate would be best positioned to lead the charge from a sales point of view.
"The group that I thought would be my primary route to market was the PBX reseller," he said. "The rationale was that they would be looking toward technologies that are more advanced. But, I'm starting to see more traction with the IT managed service providers, the data guys, if you will. They seem to be the ones who are now functioning as the trusted advisors to the customer. If you're a data guy, you probably already know a lot about IP networks. And if that's the case, getting trained on our solution is a chip shot."
During a new partner's first 30 days, the Unified Office team spends four to six hours per week assisting with both sales and technical training. The team is also willing to attend the first several customer meetings, according to Pasquale.
The system supports the WebRTC and HTML5 standards, and it can be used over mobile and broadband connections. Pricing starts at $29.95 per seat.
PUBLISHED MARCH 20, 2013