Category Archives: Small Businesses

Massive Change to the Web Culture is Just around the Corner, Offering Exciting Opportunities to Web Hosters This string of characters — the domain address for a web site or other internet service — pervades our culture. Today, virtually every organization and individual has confronted the challenge of reducing their professional or personal brand to fit into this namespace. But, after years of planning and debate, a big change is coming that will alter the way organizations and individuals identify themselves online; they will be able to personalize their web addresses in ways never imagined before. Even more compelling, Web Hosters will have a ripe new opportunity to “cash in” on this new sales conduit.  


The governing body that manages Top Level Domains (TLD) is set to authorize and release over 1,000 new TLDs starting next year. Some examples of these include: .APP, .HOME, .STORE, .BLOG, .BOOK, .MOVIE and .MUSIC. Businesses and consumers will be able to get descriptive, memorable and relevant domain names for their Web Presence to a degree unprecedented in the history of the Internet. If I owned a bookstore in Manhattan, I probably already have .COM or .NET domain just like every other bookstore in the world. Next year I could have a .NYC domain to make search more relevant and a .BOOK domain to clarify that I am a bookstore and a .BARGAINS domain if I sell used books.  


As a Web Hoster, you have a unique opportunity to grow or create your domain business. You will benefit from the increase in registration volume and higher prices that many of the specialized TLDs are expected to achieve. You can tailor offers and packages around specific TLDs that optimize customer acquisition and generate new revenue from existing customers. 


At Parallels we want to make taking advantage of this opportunity as easy as possible by attracting customers now and preparing for the coming change. 

  • Sign-up to resell domains with Parallels’ Domain Name Network .  We waive typical set-up fees and provide you with pre-negotiated volume discounts.
  • Leverage tools and resources, provided through our close partnership with eNom, to start capturing customer interest now. We give you ready-to-go marketing toolkits and access to the ‘TLD Watchlist” application that can be directly integrated into your Website. When new TLD launch phases roll-out, additional tools and resources will become available allowing you to easily convert interest to orders.


This is a huge evolution of the Web and an opportunity not to be missed. Help your customers be successful by being their trusted Web advisor and generate new revenue at the same time… Don’t get left behind!


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


Additional features, including the new Parallels Web Presence Builder, are specifically designed for service providers to meet the growing demand for cloud services by small and medium businesses (SMBs)


We are excited to announce 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:


For more information on Parallels Automation, visit:



1 Parallels SMB Cloud Insights, 2012

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

Global SMB Market: Web Presence


Part 3 of a 5-part series detailing Parallels SMB Cloud Insights research

In this Global SMB Market series we’ve been discussing our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights to help service providers target the rapidly-growing cloud services market for small and medium businesses. In our last post we talked about global growth opportunities in hosted infrastructure. This week we’ll discuss the opportunities for web presence with these companies.


As with hosted infrastructure, the opportunities in the web presence sector depend on the market segment to which a country belongs. However, compared to hosted infrastructure, there is already a strong penetration rate for all three market segments identified in our report (see Table 2, below), which can mean an easier job for service providers.




A Developed Web Presence


Developed countries with mature cloud services already have a well-developed web presence, with about 50% of companies having a service provider and 70% having a website. But even with these web-savvy companies, or Cloud Expanders, there is opportunity. 


First, self-hosting a website is an expensive and technically complex solution for SMBs, yet the 15 to 20% of micro and small companies in this segment are currently doing just that. Service providers can educate these SMBs about the advantages of third-party web hosting and encourage them to switch to a hosted service. Second, service providers can offer tools such as website design, social media, and e-commerce capabilities, all elements that can be overwhelming and otherwise expensive for smaller businesses.


Maturing into Cloud Services

For companies in developed countries with maturing cloud services the opportunities are a little different. Our research found that only 50% of the SMBs in this group have a website, compared to 70% in the previous segment. But even with this dramatic drop in penetration, there is an opportunity to switch companies that are currently self-hosting – so-called Cloud Converters – to more affordable, easier to manage third-party web hosting as well as upsell services. 


In addition, the 50% of SMBs in this segment that don’t currently have a website actually show a high willingness to adopt a hosted web presence, with over 30% of them considering adding third-party web hosting plans in the next three years, so now is the perfect time for service providers to get in on the ground floor.


Emerging into the Cloud


The web presence market among SMBs in developing countries with emerging cloud services has ample room for growth. Currently, less than 40% of SMBs in these countries have a company website, making these Cloud Leapers the primary opportunity in this market. Not only are they the largest group with no website, but they also show a strong willingness to adopt: about 35% of them plan to add a third-party web hosting plan in the upcoming three years.


Among all SMBs, whether they have a website or not, social media pages are the top forms of web presence. Although current penetration rates are still low, service providers should keep social media integration tools in mind, especially as Internet usage in all segments grows and leads to higher penetration rates.


In the next installment we’ll discuss options for Hosted Communication and Collaboration for SMBs.


Want to know more? Parallels has updated and enriched its wildly popular research on SMBs and their move to the cloud. We’ll present our findings in a webinar on May 30thIn this webinar, we will share the results of our latest US SMB research, including how SMBs are adopting cloud services, how much is being spent on each type of service, and how service providers should market to SMBs to benefit from the upcoming growth in this booming market.


Register now!



Global SMB Market: Hosted Infrastructure


Part 2 of a 5-part series detailing Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ research. View part 1 here


In part one of our Global SMB Market insights™ series we defined some of the key global SMB market categories and segments. Now, we’d like to look closely at how SMBs around the world are adopting and using each major cloud service, beginning with hosted infrastructure.


Hosted infrastructure, also known as infrastructure-as-a-service, includes dedicated servers, virtual private servers (VPS), managed hosting, and utility (or elastic) computing.  As we mentioned in the previous post, whether or not an SMB uses hosted infrastructure depends a lot on where it’s located and the level of economic development and cloud services maturity there. Take a look at Table 1 to get a better idea of what we mean:


Developed with Mature Cloud Services

Hosted infrastructure is relatively common in these markets, with about 20% of SMBs already using hosted servers. Encouraging the micro and small SMBs (aka Cloud Converters) that are using in-house servers to switch to hosted servers can lead to even further growth. 


Hosted servers don’t require maintenance or technical expertise, which is a huge advantage for SMBs who don’t generally have in-house IT staff, but price is a top factor keeping them from making the leap. Service providers should consider offering lower-priced options to these SMBs, but also on educating them about the true cost of owning an in-house server. Pushing VPS offerings is likely the best route to take with these SMBs, as they deliver all the security and isolation benefits of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost. 


Developed with Maturing Cloud Services

Fewer than 15% of SMBs in these countries use hosted services, so the hosted infrastructure market for this group is definitely still growing. Since many of them are currently using in-house servers to about the same degree as they do hosted services, they make a good target for service providers looking to encourage conversion. 


We also identified a significant opportunity among companies that currently don’t use servers at all—the Cloud Leapers. The best targets among these Cloud Leapers are the micro SMBs, approximately 65-70% of which have no servers. 


Developing with Emerging Cloud Services

In developing countries less than 10% of SMBs use hosted infrastructure and 75% have no servers at all, which is unsurprising given their limited Internet access. The market should grow as Internet usage does though, with much of the growth driven by Cloud Leapers moving directly to hosted servers. Willingness to adopt hosted infrastructure is high, so as infrastructure improves and bandwidth and connectivity issues fade, usage is poised to increase dramatically.


Any questions or thoughts to share on hosted infrastructure in the global SMB market? Check in soon for the next blog segment on our SMB Global Market insights: Web Presence!


Want to know more? Parallels has updated and enriched its wildly popular research on SMBs and their move to the cloud. We’ll present our findings in a webinar on May 30th. In this webinar, we will share the results of our latest US SMB research, including how SMBs are adopting cloud services, how much is being spent on each type of service, and how service providers should market to SMBs to benefit from the upcoming growth in this booming market.


Register now!




APS and SaaS Webinar for Service Providers featuring Solgari, Ecwid, VMWare and Quest


Our recent case study describes how leading Hong Kong hosting service provider, Pacificnet Hosting Limited (PacHosting), used Parallels Application Packaging Standard (APS) to broaden its portfolio and reduce time-to-market for new services. With APS, PacHosting was able to create new revenue opportunities in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space and rapidly ramp-up services. We have arranged for some leaders in the SaaS field to explain how your business can profit like PacHosting by offering the most in-demand applications to small and medium business customers. This is a great opportunity for service providers to learn how to easily market and sell high-demand commercial applications and services, and how Parallels can help providers of any size be successful in increasing ARPU and reducing customer churn.


This month’s scheduled presentations include:


Solgari – Discover the fantastic opportunity to provide Solgari Hosted PBX & Voice Services to your business customers

Ecwid – Find out how you can grow your ecommerce base with our 100% AJAX widget shopping cart

VMware – Learn how Zimbra Collaboration Server allows you to offer an advanced enterprise email & calendaring solution at a low TCO

Quest – Discover the many benefits of Quest’s OnDemand Migration for Email


Webinar starts Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 8am PDT. Don’t miss it – Register now!

News Round-Up 5/5/2012: What Makes the Cloud Cool, Feds in the Cloud, 10 Things Your Cloud Contract Needs


There have been some exciting announcements and fascinating news articles recently regarding cloud services and service providers. Every week we will round up the most interesting topics from around the globe and consolidate them into a weekly summary.


Cloud Computing Gains in Federal Government

The Federal Government is warming to the speed, agility and functionality of cloud computing.


State companies helping Army with cloud computing

The U.S. Army has turned to cloud computing, and to Wisconsin companies, to improve its intelligence gathering in Afghanistan.


Saas Offering Provides Detailed Analysis of Your Software Portfolio

Are you faced with the need to do a software portfolio analysis but find the prospect daunting given the scattered nature of your operation? A new SaaS-based offering might fit the bill.


SaaS Business Apps Drive SMB Cloud Computing Adoption

Lots of small and medium businesses have discovered the benefits of software-as-a-service. These SaaS applications are driving cloud adoption among SMBs. 


Here’s What Makes The Cloud So Cool

Mike Pearl from PriceWaterhouseCooper provides a useful plan of attack for business adoption of cloud computing.


10 Things You Just Gotta Have in Your Cloud Contract

CFO’s guide to the wild and wooly world of cloud services in which contracts are mutable, companies come and go, and politics a continent away could materially impact your business.



Also in the news:




Summit 2012: Practice Best Practices Track 2


There was a plethora of great content at Summit 2012 this year, and it was impossible to attend it all.  Fortunately, we have all of our talks on YouTube!  For this series of posts, we have consolidated the talks by tracks at Parallels Summit. 


Practice Best Practices: This track focused Summit Attendees on how to best use Parallels Products to drive business growth, and efficiently provide the Parallels products to customers.  Additionally, this track emphasised how to best capitalize on the growing SMB cloud market.


Panel: Building a secure cloud for customers – demystified

Alex Danyluk, Sr. Director SaaS & ISV Alliances, Parallels (moderator)


  • Rick Norman, Director of Professional Services, CoalFire
  • Sean Leach, Vice President, Strategy and Technology, Verisign
  • Brett Matesen, Director of Business Development, Kaspersky
  • Dreas van Donselaar, CTO, SpamExperts


The cloud promise is that all data, applications, and services are accessible from any device over the internet, but this has tremendous security implications at every layer from the network to the servers to the systems and end-point devices. Listen to a panel of experts discuss the trends in keeping the cloud secure, what matters to customers, and what security issues need to be top of mind for you in 2012.




Customer Support: Parallels lessons

Kellie Green, VP, Global Support, Parallels

Support can be a key differentiator in a service provider business. Parallels has made major strides in enhancing its Support capabilities in the last year and this session will provide you with our learnings. Pick up new ideas about optimizing your support experience and hear more about the changes planned in Parallels Support this year.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here


Panel: Best practices for growing a hosting business – being on the right side of the growth curve

Liam Eagle, Editor in Chief, Web Host Industry Review (moderator)



  • Steven Canale, Vice President of Sales, SoftLayer Technologies
  • Joy Nemitz, CMO, Apptix
  • Roy Joseph, President, UNITY Mobile
  • Craig Ball, Director of Sales, Infratel
  • Jon McCarrick, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Parallels Automation, Parallels
  • Igor Seletskiy, Founder and CEO, CloudLinux


While the hosting industry is experiencing double digit year-over-year growth, leaders in this sector are growing much faster than the industry average. This panel of experts will talk about what is working (and not working) and why.




You’re thinking mobile, but you might not be thinking big enough

Elliot Noss, President and CEO, Tucows

Thinking about how to capitalize on the remarkable growth of mobile this year? Make sure you are thinking big enough. That might require a shift in how you define yourself, from a product focus to a relationship focus. You will likely find that your relationships are your real advantage and that your customers will buy much bigger products from you than you realize.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here


Grow your business: Parallels partner resources

Scott Fallon, Sr. Director, Partner Marketing, Parallels

Leverage the resources Parallels offers to support your operational, marketing and sales efforts. We’ll talk about new and enhanced benefits offered through the Parallels Partner Program, technical support resources, working with Parallels Sales and more. And we’ll take your feedback on what partner benefits and tools you’d like to see added in the coming year.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here