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NEC takes SaaS to SMBs via channel

NEC takes SaaS to SMBs via channel

New ApplicationsNet solution to be driven through partners as the vendor looks to attack the SMB market with a pay-per-month subscription platform

NEC has announced plans to offer a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to SMBs through its partners.

Called ApplicationsNet and developed in Australia, the platform offers a range of tools on a pay-per-month basis through a Single Sign On portal.

NEC chief engineer network applications, Vincent Kennedy, said the timing of the solution coincided with user momentum and supporting technological advances.

“The broadband access network is finally at the point where it’s ready to deliver solutions such as these, and end users are more comfortable with the concept of SaaS now,” Kennedy said.

“Paying per month, per user is more suitable for SMB customers at the moment given the economic situation and the number of applications they may need to run.”

Applications cover areas such as billing, CRM, call centre, asset management help desk, Web collaboration, contract management and e-learning. NEC said more applications will be introduced to the solution over time.

Partners gain two primary benefits from offering the solution, Kennedy claimed. The up front investment is minimal, and as the portal offers multiple applications, partners may introduce themselves to a new set of customers also brand the product, he said.

“We’re also providing our channel a portal that allows them to manage subscriptions,” Kennedy said. “We’ll work with partners to build custom solutions to give vertical opportunities, which we expect a lot of our partners to talk to us about.”

Three partners of NEC’s base of 250 went through the trial process for the ApplicationsNet solution. Any partner may access the solution, and while the vendor doesn’t expect all its current partners to take on the solution, it is interested in attracting new partners who may have not been interested in NEC’s traditional solutions.

The vendor will be launching the solution in all its geographies.


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