EarthLink Offering Cloud, Security Services Bundles Through Channel

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Hoping to make it easier for solution providers to customize services into easily-digestible bundles, EarthLink on Monday confirmed three new packaged solutions that target customers embracing cloud and virtualized environments.

EarthLink's bundles, offered under its EarthLink Business IT Services unit, include the Cloud Launch Pad, the Cloud Entry Bundle, and the Secure Email Bundle.

The Cloud Launch Pad covers organizations that currently operate or want to invest in VMware virtualization infrastructure. EarthLink offers additional VMware virtualization capacity and makes its services interoperable with VMware virtual machine instances, doing so through the hosted vCloud offering EarthLink already provides with VMware.

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The Cloud Entry Bundle is for customers who have not yet virtualized or have limited IT operating budgets to expand their capacity. EarthLink offers hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint as cloud-based collaboration platforms.

With both Cloud options, EarthLink is guaranteeing performance with an SLA and are also offering managed options and other levels of support -- positioning EarthLink under the emerging cloud services brokerage model that's being adopted by several major telecom service providers.

The third bundle, Secure Email, offers hosted email and secure file transfer tools, including email, contacts, calendars, anti-spam, archive and encryption, plus a file transfer portal and a secure email branded portal. That's key for a number of customers, EarthLink notes, because it saves them from having to buy a bunch of different licenses and backup software options to do similar things. EarthLink's email platform is hosted from an SSAE 16-compliant data center, the company says.

The bundles start at $400 per month but depend on specific customer requirements, according to an EarthLink spokesperson. They'll be sold both from EarthLink directly and through channel partners.

Barbara Dondiego, EarthLink's chief marketing officer, said the bundles were carefully designed for customers skeptical about adopting cloud solutions.

"We often hear from customers that they want their provider to act as an extension of their internal IT team, helping them become more productive and effective," Dondiego said in a statement. "These bundles are a toolkit that enables that to happen easily."

EarthLink has been expanding its Business IT Services offering throughout the past six months, following the December 2011 launch of its EarthLink complete business suite. The communications provider uses the brand to market everything from virtualization services to connectivity services, application services, managed security services and managed desktop support.

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