Yesterday at Mobile World Congress 2008, Microsoft and Cbeyond announced a new e-mail service, including support for mobile devices, that is now available as part of a communications package specifically targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
The package includes hardware and air time for mobile phone service, local and long-distance phone service, T-1 broadband Internet access, and, now, enterprise-class e-mail based on hosted Microsoft Exchange. The service is available today in Atlanta with future service planned for Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco.
“By working with Microsoft, we can now offer Cbeyond’s customers the first hosted service based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 that is fully integrated with mobile access, all from a single provider,” said Brent Cobb, vice president of product marketing for Cbeyond. “We’ve seen significant customer demand for this service; delivering a seamless, enterprise-class messaging and collaboration experience to our SMB customers will give them the ability to compete using services traditionally reserved for large enterprises.”
With Hosted Microsoft Exchange from Cbeyond, users can get the capabilities offered through an enterprise-class e-mail solution, including appointment scheduling, shared contact information, task management and over-the-air syncing of all this information with their mobile devices, all accessible via Microsoft Office Outlook on the desktop or laptop, a Web browser, or a smartphone. All Cbeyond customers will enjoy the basic benefits of Hosted Microsoft Exchange integrated into their package, and have the option to add mobile access, shared calendar, shared contacts, and a free copy of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 for $10 per user, per month.
“SMBs today want the same productivity tools and capabilities that enterprises have long enjoyed, and they often look to a single source that can easily and cost-effectively address their full range of communications requirements,” said Michael O’Hara, general manager of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “By working with a service provider like Cbeyond, SMBs are able to really focus on their most important priorities — serving their customers and growing their business.”