As we see it, the future is service providers offering a wide range of applications to their customers. In our vision, those apps work together (cut + paste, for example), are delivered as a service (not downloaded) and self-provision so that users can select an app and it is made available to them immediately.
We’ve all experienced different versions of this with our smartphones.Sounds good, right? Now, let’s talk about what has to happen to make all this possible.A good start is using Parallels Application Packaging Standard (APS) to ensure fast time to market, flexibility and security – all delivered with proven technology. Open-Xchange actually was one of the very first 3rd party key applications to support APS so we know what we’re talking about and we know it works. Service providers like Dotster and Irish Domains have already implemented Open-Xchange using APS and Parallels´ automation software.
You’ll see in our next version of Open-Xchange – planned for later this year – that we’re providing a platform for integrating applications so that service providers can make those available to their customers. That makes for a richer experience, deeper customer relationships and multiple occasions to upsell new services with a custom storefront offered by the service provider. Open-Xchange will serve as the platform that service providers use to present their users with APS Packaged apps via Parallels Automation available for purchase – and not only to administrators. From our experience, more eyeballs means more sold apps.
We’ve started previewing Open-Xchange 7 and the industry analyst firm, Tier 1 Research, had a look. As Tier 1 analyst, Daniel Beazer, wrote: “OX7 is a sleek impressive interface that certainly makes a traditional enterprise mail client look staid and clunky. But it’s really only a wrapper for the real meat – the app store.”
This represents the next big step for all of us – Open-Xchange, Parallels and our service provider partners – with big opportunities for all of us.