Cloud-based email, communication and collaboration services provider GlobalOutlook is providing small and medium businesses with another cloud unified communications option with the launch of GO UConnect. Based on a combination of GlobalOutlook and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) technologies, the new SMB UC service is also being targeted at service providers interested in implementing UC and collaboration solutions for their customers.

GlobalOutlook joins a growing number of service providers targeting the SMB community with cloud-based UC services, whether they're focused strictly on voice or also happen to include video. The cloud UC market seems to be growing, based on indications such as the acquisitions that are going on. For instance, Intermedia recently announced its intent to acquire Telanetix (known for the AccessLine brand) to include hosted voice services as part of its Office in the Cloud strategy. Both Intermedia and Telanetix also target the SMB market.

"Increasingly, businesses are moving toward a unified communications approach to become more productive and cost-efficient. Providing quality UC services is becoming a competitive advantage for resellers and service providers, who until now were deterred by the high setup and ongoing costs," said Dayakar Puskoor, executive chairman of GlobalOutlook, in a prepared statement.

GO UConnect includes several different technologies that make up UC within a single interface. These include Exchange email and integrated calendar (there's the Microsoft technology), a cloud-based PBX system, a mobile client, the ability to do PC-to-PC voice and video calls, filesharing, instant messaging, conferencing (audio, video and web), desktop and application screen-sharing, collaboration tools and unlimited landline and mobile calls to and from U.S., Canada and U.K. numbers.

For the channel, this represents another opportunity to get into cloud-based UC without having to plunk down the large capex costs. By the looks of it, a service provider, system integrator or telco would be a customer as much as an end user, but using the GO UConnect service, there's the potential for resale and management services.

A lot of these UC cloud services seem to be popping up lately, and it's not really a surprise considering the potential cost savings and simplicity that a cloud communications service can provide to small businesses compared to more traditional on-premise deployments.