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Parallels Automation 5.4 Launches, Delivering Enterprise-Grade Hosted PBX, Microsoft® Lync and Microsoft® Hosted Exchange Capabilities

Parallels® (www.parallels.com), the hosting and cloud services enablement leader, today announced the general availability of Parallels Automation 5.4, the latest version of the most comprehensive hosting and cloud services delivery system used by hundreds of service providers worldwide, from the world’s largest telecom operators to top hosters and providers of vertical solutions.

Among the new cloud service delivery capabilities in Parallels Automation 5.4 is a suite of communications and collaboration features, including a full-featured virtual PBX enablement solution for delivering hosted BroadSoft BroadWorks PBX and hosted Microsoft® Lync™ services. These features are designed specifically to meet the growing demands of small and medium businesses (SMBs) for hosted PBX and other cloud applications. According to Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™, the market for hosted communications and collaboration services experienced a 75% year-over-year growth in 2012, reaching $2.5B and is expected to carry a 35% CAGR through 2014.

The new hosted communications and collaboration capabilities in Parallels Automation 5.4 enables hosters of any size to launch much-needed hosted PBX services, bundled with business email, instant messaging and other services. These services are suited to meet the communications needs of SMBs, whether they are replacing a legacy PBX system or moving to their very first PBX service. Parallels has also simplified the deployment of these services by partnering with best-in-breed providers to add flexibility and enhanced capabilities. Hosters can choose to integrate these services with their own BroadSoft BroadWorks solution, or use wholesale services enabled by preferred partners Apptix, Alteva and Sipcom.

In addition, Parallels Automation 5.4 delivers hosted Microsoft Lync services, appealing to the 178 million employees of SMBs worldwide who seek to leverage cloud-based messaging, collaboration and unified communications across desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Microsoft Lync also includes built-in web and call conferencing support and is a natural upsell to those SMBs already utilizing Microsoft Exchange, either on-premises or in a hosted environment. Parallels Automation 5.4 also provides billing automation and provisioning of this and other hosted Microsoft services, while enabling additional application integration of other hosted third-party applications from leading ISVs.

“Parallels Automation continues to be a competitive differentiator for Apptix and a key reason why blue chip channel partners are turning to Apptix to drive their cloud success,” said Joy Nemitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Apptix. “It provides a single platform for provisioning, management, and billing of all of our Cloud services and allows us to beat our competitors to market with new services and capabilities into the market – such as Microsoft Lync.”

“Parallels Automation continues to be the platform of choice for service providers seeking to profit from the rapidly growing opportunity for delivering cloud services to SMBs,” said Jack Zubarev, President of Parallels. “With the addition of hosted PBX, and Microsoft Lync, Parallels Automation is delivering even more opportunities for service providers to meet the diverse needs of SMBs.”

In addition to the Hosted PBX and Microsoft Lync capabilities, Parallels Automation 5.4 also delivers number of enhancements, including:

  • Updated Control Panel – Parallels Automation has an entirely refreshed end-user control panel. Many scenarios have been optimized based on customer input and the look and feel has been unified with Parallels Plesk Panel to offer a common interface throughout all Parallels control panels. These and other new self-service features make Parallels Automation more efficient for both the service provider and their end-user customers.
  • New Parallels Web Presence Builder – As the worldwide market for Web presence is expected to grow to $12.6 billion by 20141, hosters continue to seek ways to capitalize on this growing market, to differentiate their offers and grow their service revenue. The new Parallels Web Presence Builder features prebuilt site templates with customized text for more than 75 different industries – enabling SMBs to set up a complete, professional-looking website in record time. Parallels Web Presence Builder also enables users to easily customize website content, integrate it with Facebook, and let visitors share content on popular social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Parallels Windows Provisioning Engine (WPE) – As Microsoft has wound down its Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) solution, service providers will have to find a new platform to deliver hosted and syndicated Microsoft Exchange and other tools. Parallels Automation 5.4 is a leading Microsoft-certified solution that allows service providers to migrate their customers from HMC to future hosted e-mail and other applications. This includes Hosted Exchange 2010 SP2 services via Parallels WPE, which enables the migration from older Exchange versions.

The market continues to take notice of Parallels' momentum. In a recently published report, technology industry research firm IDC states, “Given Parallels' current base of 5,000 partners/customers in the SMB IT channel (hosting providers, resellers, and integrators) and market penetration of the Parallels Plesk Panel product (50% market share in the control panel segment), IDC believes that the company is well positioned to establish an up-the-stack presence in the service delivery/enablement platforms of SMB cloud IT supply chain participants.”2 The full IDC report is available for download from Parallels Web site at: http://bit.ly/yt6kg7

For more information on Parallels Automation, visit: http://www.parallels.com/products/automation/

1 Parallels SMB Cloud Insights, 2012

2 IDC, Parallels Private Vendor Watchlist Profile: Helping Service Providers Compete in the Cloud, doc #233149, Feb. 2012

About Parallels

Parallels is a worldwide leader in hosting and cloud service enablement and desktop virtualization. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.parallels.com/spp, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ParallelsCloud and Like Us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParallelsCloud.

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