Applications hosting provider, WebCentral, has joined forces with Invizage to deliver its software as service (SaaS) products to its SME customers.
Invizage will have wholesale access to the company's Managed Exchange premium email package, along with business-oriented SharePoint document management tools and Promotions Manager marketing applications. WebCentral will provide billing. It will be distributing the products to its 7000 SMB customers.
WebCentral CEO, Andrew Spicer, said the deal would be extended to include forthcoming CRM and small business accounting hosted applications.
Invizage managing director, Elisabet Wreme, said it would package the WebCentral applications with HP hardware, Microsoft's Professional Office software suite and support services.
The company had previously pushed on-site servers, she said. Invizage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sensis.
"Trust in taking on these hosted services is increasing," Wreme said. "For SMEs looking for a big outlay in infrastructure costs, it makes sense to shift towards monthly payments. But they need to know it's a trusted brand, which is why we've gone with HP, Microsoft and now WebCentral."
Invizage is the largest trusted technology advisor appointed by WebCentral to date. After spending three years building up its wholesale channel, Spicer said it now had 300 partners.
As a result of this push, its hosted applications business grew by 73 per cent in the six months to December 31 compared to the same period a year earlier.
"Take-up is finally starting to fire up," he said. "Now that so many users have broadband, small businesses are starting to adopt application services. We're seeing big vendors coming to the party as well."
WebCentral also has 800 active Web development partners. Spicer said it was working on marketing strategies and tactics to commercialise their solutions.
The company had also recently spent $500,000 on its back-end systems to improve and speed up connectivity to its billing systems, he said.