Parallels Summit: Will Hosted PBXes Steal the Cloud Show?

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More than 1,000 channel partners, hosting partners and cloud services providers (CSPs) are set to attend Parallels Summit (Feb. 22-24, Orlando). Take a look at the agenda and ask a few key sources, and you'll discover a major hosted PBX strategy set to unfold at the conference. It likely involves Parallels working closely with Alteva and BroadSoft. The hosted PBX discussion is especially timely since many channel partners and CSPs are trying to decide how to push beyond hosted Exchange and other traditional SaaS applications.

The story starts with Parallels President Jack Zubarev describing growing demand for hosted PBX services -- especially within the SMB IT channel. Zubarev made the comments in a recent TalkinCloud FastChat Video (left).

Now, take a look at the Parallels Summit agenda and you'll notice Alteva and BroadSoft prominently mentioned.

  • Joseph Harsch, director of product management at BroadSoft, and Stelio D'Alo, senior marketing director for Automation at Parallels, are set to discuss the economics of hosted PBX solutions.

  • Louis Hayner, chief sales officer at Alteva; William Bumbernick, chief innovation officer at Alteva; and Anton Zlygostev, program manager for Automation at Parallels; are set to show attendees how to implement hosted PBX and VoIP with Parallels Automation.


Clearly, Parallels plans to rally hosting providers, CSPs and channel partners toward the hosted PBX market. The effort arrives as Microsoft attempts to promote Lync -- the successor to Office Communications Server -- as a SaaS solution. Meanwhile, some of Microsoft's largest hosted Exchange partners are trying to push beyond Microsoft-centric solutions. Intermedia, for one, has introduced a hosted PBX service for channel partners.

The big question: Are CSPs, VARs and managed services providers (MSPs) really ready to embrace hosted PBX services? Parallels' Zubarev concedes that the market is just getting started. No doubt, some customers worry about having a VoIP dial-tone out in the cloud. But to me the hosted PBX and hosted unified communications trend seems inevitable.

I expect to hear more at Parallels Summit.

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