Parallels Prepares Hosted PBX Strategy for Channel Partners
Parallels, which develops SaaS and cloud platform software for hosting providers, is preparing a hosted PBX strategy that will eventually lead to hosted unified communications, according to President of Marketing and Alliances Jack Zubarev. Details about the hosted PBX strategy will likely emerge at the Parallels Summit later this month in Orlando, Fla. But Zubarev provided some preliminary clues in a TalkinCloud FastChat video.
Some readers likely know Parallels for its Mac desktop virtualization software. But Parallels also has a massive following in the hosting market, where service providers use Parallels software to speed SaaS and cloud deployments. According to Zubarev, many of those SaaS deployments appeal to small businesses — where cloud adoption is proceeding rapidly, he adds. It sounds like Parallels is working on some market research to help back up SMB cloud and SaaS adoption claims.
Moreover, Parallels plans to partner up in the hosted PBX and unified communications markets. It sounds like the company is preparing some sort of syndication strategy and white label effort for channel partners. Parallels already does extensive syndication work in the Microsoft channel, assisting big service providers with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and related hosted Microsoft applications.
Near-term, Zubarev concedes that the hosted PBX market is small, but he expects it to potentially grow larger than many of the mature, traditional hosting markets. Parallels isn’t alone. Microsoft is promoting Lync, the successor to Office Communications Server, as a unified communications system that may catch on with service providers. Also, upstarts like Intermedia have prepared their own hosted unified communications efforts. And a few MSPs are taking a look at Asterisk, the open source IP PBX, for potential cloud opportunities.
I expect Parallels to more fully describe its potential hosted PBX strategy at the Parallels Summit (Feb. 22-24, Orlando, Fla.).