Microsoft Corp. has announced the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 3.5, a hosted solution that enables service providers to equip small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with enterprise-class e-mail services, mobile device data access, team Web sites and online presence information.
In version 3.5, Microsoft incorporates new mobile synchronization capabilities, a variety of security enhancements, and new tools that lessen management time and extend customer acquisition opportunities for hosting partners.
“More and more small and midsize businesses require advanced enterprise-class features once reserved only for corporations with extensive IT budgets. The latest release of Hosted Messaging and Collaboration addresses that issue with unprecedented new features for these organizations,” said Pascal Martin, general manager of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft. “Hosting providers are clamoring for ways to meet the demands of their customers while keeping a tight rein on costs. By providing a consistent platform, we give our hosting partners the tools to upgrade to the latest software and thereby differentiate their offerings with minimal effort and cost.”
Targeted at companies with between 10 and 250 users and delivered through hosting providers, version 3.5 provides business-class communication tools on a variety of computing mediums, such as a desktop computer in the office or a mobile device on the road.
This update offers small and midsize businesses a cutting-edge messaging and collaboration solution with minimal upfront costs, and helps reduce the need for internal IT resources.
End users can now benefit from Microsoft messaging solutions through Windows Mobile-based phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) running Windows Mobile 5.0. With direct push technology, users will now have up-to-the minute access to e-mail, calendar appointments and task notifications. New mobile security features include the ability to wipe data from devices that have been lost or stolen and set up automated rules to help prevent access by unauthorized users.
The Windows Mobile software required, the Messaging Security and Feature Pack is not available yet, though. Current Windows Mobile 5.0 devices will need a ROM update to be able to use these new services, and these updates are distributed by the manufacturers.
With Microsoft Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 3.5, service providers have a complete, end-to-end messaging and collaboration suite. The pre-engineered solution includes deployment automation tools and scripts, code samples, and documented procedures and best practices that help allow for rapid time to market.