Earthlink+SMBIt’s a land grab for business IT services, and Earthlink wants in. Small and medium business (SMB) and enterprise business sectors are looking to add efficiency, lower costs, and better leverage their telecom, datacom, and IT budget. Service providers of all sizes and scope recognize this trend and are aligning their business services product portfolios to grab as much of this pot as possible.

EarthLink is undergoing a well documented transition from a legacy ISP to a integrated service provider focused on business services. They’ve made a couple of acquisitions, including ITC-DeltaCom, to help accelerate this transition.

They recently took their EarthLink Complete portfolio nationwide, which provides a suite of business voice and data solutions. They are now expanding their business-focused portfolio with the launch of Earthlink Business IT Services suite, which will offer the following services:

  • virtualization services (cloud hosting, dedicated server, backup/disaster recovery, web hosting)
  • managed security services (network/cloud security, endpoint /device security, compliance & enhanced monitoring, business continuity and disaster recovery)
  • connectivity services (MPLS, voice, data)
  • application services (secure email, archiving/encryption, secure file transfer portal)
  • managed desktop support (monitoring, patch management, virtual help desk)
  • data center services (managed space and power).

“This product suite sets the foundation for customers to participate in the next era of business information technology, where everyone will have access to vast amounts of information in the cloud. Once only available to large enterprises with big IT staffs, we can now offer the benefits of virtualization to businesses of all sizes,” said Brian Fink, EarthLink Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer in a press release.

EarthLink is leveraging the promise of virtualization with this new portfolio. Virtualization is a key cloud services technology, which basically lets a service provider more efficiently offer a range of business class IT services to a broader scope of end customers, including SMBs. Virtualization allows the service provider to replicate IT hardware and software platforms to multiple customers and offer services that are “rented or leased,” saving capital expenditure costs for the end customer. EarthLink is using hosted services from vCloud-powered by VMware for their platform.

The goal is to convince executive leadership at business customers that their IT budget is better spent utilizing outsourced IT cloud services from a company like EarthLink, which results in either reducing their overall IT costs or allowing them to refocus their internal IT assets towards more strategic goals, or both.

The trend suggests that revenues from these types of services cannot be ignored, as they will become paramount for future success, especially in an environment where traditional revenue streams are in decline. All service providers regardless of size need to evaluate the opportunity. It’s what’s driving the tremendous amount of investment in data and cloud services by larger service providers, including a very active cloud and fiber transport merger and acquisition spree.

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