Internet Solutions launches cloud-based, unified messaging service

Johannesburg, 28 Mar 2012
Read time 3min 00sec

Internet Solutions is to expand its unified cloud messaging offering to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 1 000 users and to the public sector - using Zimbra, VMware's next-generation, open source, Linux-based e-mail and calendar groupware platform.

Known as IS Zimbra Messaging, Internet Solutions' new offering positions the company to provide unified cloud communication and collaboration (UCC&C) services to the full spectrum of South African organisations.

“For many large corporations, Microsoft Exchange services are fully established in their business and they would have no reason to change it,” says Internet Solutions Communications Services product portfolio manager, Craig Stewart. “For SMEs and the public sector, however, the Zimbra option is ideal because it eliminates the need for substantial capital expenditure on messaging technology and the human resources to manage it.

“IS Zimbra Messaging gives organisations that currently have no or limited unified messaging options access on a pay-per-use basis to a secure, compliant, full feature solution. We can also provide them, on request, with archiving, and branding facilities powered by Pinpoint.

“In other words, cloud messaging has just become an extremely tangible business option in South Africa.”

By combining open source and the cloud, IS Zimbra Messaging gives companies and public sector organisations the best of both worlds in a solution that can be deployed easily. Additionally, the solution is quickly learnt, which reduces associated costs and allows smaller organisations to be more competitive within a global communications environment.

IS Zimbra Messaging solves for businesses the most significant challenges related to collaboration on content, a crucial operational tool in today's business environment.

“The enormous advantage of Zimbra over other messaging solutions is that most collaboration features are built in,” Stewart says. “For instance, it has a powerful instant messaging capability and all social media feeds and documents can be managed via the mailbox. So, it effortlessly bridges organisations into the productivity benefits of unified communications and collaboration.

“At the same time, the pricing of our IS Zimbra Messaging solution reflects the needs of the market at which it is aimed - with instant messaging, for instance, bundled into the overall offering.

“Users get the substantial benefits of this being an Internet Solutions offering, in that we can bundle into the solution options such as free mail access when users connect through AlwaysOn WiFi Hot Spots.”

The highly customisable and scalable IS Zimbra Messaging solution is platform agnostic, enabling integration with Outlook and the Apple desktop suite. It also offers cross-browser compatible Webmail access via all Web browsers with full functionality. Users can opt to use the service across iOS, Windows, or Linux for their e-mails.

The solution has a simple, easy-to-use mobile interface and its push-to-mobile technology supports BlackBerry and Active-sync devices.

Internet Solutions is partnering with its subsidiary, SYNAQ, Africa's largest gold partner for VMware-owned Zimbra, to bring these capabilities to the South African market.

As an adjunct to IS Zimbra Messaging, Internet Solutions will also implement IS Messaging Security & Archiving, powered by Pinpoint. The package includes IS Pinpoint Securemail, IS Pinpoint Branding, IS Pinpoint Archiving.

“Our partnerships with Zimbra and SYNAQ in bringing this solution to the South African market typify our approach to providing customers best-in-class services for unified communications and collaboration,” Stewart says.

Internet Solutions

Internet Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data. The company is southern Africa's most established and experienced Internet service provider. Since 1993, Internet Solutions has been providing innovative end-to-end connectivity solutions and related services across the African continent. Today, IS is a provider of Internet Protocol-based connectivity, communications, and cloud and carrier services in the African market and for African clients into the global market. IS provides services to large public and private sector organisations, medium-sized organisations, and through its value channel programme to smaller organisations and consumers.

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