XO Communications announced Wednesday a strategic partnership with Jamcracker to deliver on-demand collaboration, mobility and security software applications for small and medium-sized businesses.
Services will be available commercially in third quarter.
The agreement creates a nationwide delivery platform for Jamcracker’s affiliated software partners and it offers XO and its indirect sales partners an opportunity to shortcut entrance into the software as a service business.
Jamcracker operates the Jamcracker Services Delivery Network (JSDN), a business process outsourcing solution that includes a hosted services-delivery platform, content/ISV wholesale distribution agreements, help desk services, billing, collections, settlement and infrastructure management. Jamcracker customers can choose from a catalog of hundreds of software services.
Jamcracker’s Vice President of Marketing Steve Crawford said the deal “allows us to scale up our feet on the street.”
Those feet will include XO’s direct and indirect channel partners. XO will be rolling the program out to its existing partners and also recruiting new ones. The company is participating in ISPCon this week to generate interest from VARs and others that are not part of XO indirect channel, said Charlie Cary, XO’s vice president of small business services. He said he already is in conversations with the company’s existing partners.
XO Communications will offer on-demand software services individually or as a bundle with other XO services. Initial software applications available from XO will include Arsenal Digital Solutions online desktop backup services, BlackBerry hosted services, McAfee Total Protection for Small Business, Microsoft Exchange e-mail and Microsoft SharePoint collaboration server.
Cary said other applications will follow in the coming months as the company and its sales partners get ramped up. He noted the initial set includes general business apps, but the later additions will include some more vertically focused ones.
XO will be targeting the services to companies with less than 100 employees. The services range from $2 to $15 per seat per month per services.
Jamcracker has a number of other resellers in addition to XO, but Crawford said XO is the largest. He noted that while resellers can come directly to Jamcracker, there are some advantages to going through XO in that it also offers the pipes for the services to run over. In addition, he said XO has expertise reaching out to the SMB market and offers a greater level of instant credibility with potential VARs.
Partners can expect a great deal of flexibility in how they work with XO, too, said Cary. For example, they can just sell the XO on-demand software service as is or they can co-brand or private-label. Partners are commissioned based on the level of commitment, but Cary said it would be realistic to expect a typical existing XO partner to be able to increase their revenue by 15 percent by adding software services.
Over time, XO is expected to contribute some of its services to Jamcracker’s network, essentially becoming one of JSDN’s managed services providers. The most likely candidates are the company’s XOptions hosted VoIP service and dedicated Internet access.
The companies declined to give an ETA for such offers.