Broadview Adds Cloud Computing Services

By Khali Henderson Comments
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Broadview Networks plans to roll out its cloud computing services at the end of February. The suite, which includes infrastructure as a service and software as a service, will be available for sale through the company’s agents.

The new IaaS offers include dedicated and virtualized servers in the cloud. The SaaS offers include Microsoft Exchange, Office and SharePoint applications as well as line of business applications such as QuickBooks from Intuit. A cloud-based data backup and recovery service rounds out the offer.

The cloud computing services follow Broadview’s nationwide launch of OfficeSuite, the CLEC’s hosted IP telephony services in fall 2009.

Jeff Blackey, senior vice president of marketing for Broadview, said that the offers have similar attributes in that they require no upfront investment, are managed by Broadview so don’t require staff and also support customers’ disaster recovery goals.

In fact, Broadview plans to market the cloud computing services in bundles with its hosted VoIP service as “OfficeSuite+" based on the needs of particular user groups, Blackey said.

OfficeSuite+ Executive, for example, includes the hosted PBX service with an LCD-enabled desktop phone plus hosted Exchange and Outlook, Microsoft ActiveSync for mobile devices, virtualized Office 2010 and hosted SharePoint. OfficeSuite+ Individual includes the hosted PBX with a standard 24-station desktop phone, hosted e-mail and SharePoint.

The services are sold as a monthly subscription based on the number of seats.

Blackey said agents will receive similar compensation – upfront plus residual commissions – on the cloud computing services as they do for OfficeSuite and other telephony services. The upfront payments may be lower on the cloud computing services, he noted.

Blackey said training will be provided for agents as needed based on their expertise. He said Broadview plans to do a lot of the heavy lifting for agents selling the new cloud services initially as it did when it launched OfficeSuite. “We need to invest in more support resources to help agents become successful," he said. “Over time as they become more successful, they will need less support."

Broadview and its agents have sold 50,000 seats of OfficeSuite as of September 2010; Blackey expected to surpass 60,000 in early 2011.

OfficeSuite includes phones, local, regional and long-distance calling plans, Internet access and – for businesses with multiple locations – MPLS data networking plus more than 40 features, including hot desking and mobile twinning. Automatic system upgrades and initial system training are included as is a web portal for administration and managing user preferences.

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