Verizon creates SMB service portal

Cable may be aggressively gaining ground as a competitive communications alternative for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs), but Verizon Business is not backing down. Instead, the telco is responding with its Verizon Small Business Center portal that will provide customers with a host of subscription-based services including e-mail and collaboration services. The Verizon Small Business Center will provide SMB users with a portal to find hosted services and professional networking services they can use as their own intranet.

Monte Beck, Verizon's vice president of small-business products and services, said the new portal would be a "virtual CIO" for small businesses that don't have in-house IT employees. And while cable MSOs such as Cox Business continue to win over SMB customers as an alternative carrier, Beck said cable defections have been minimal. Verizon attributes video services, which it offers over its FiOS Fiber to the Premises and through its DirecTV partnership, as a churn reducer. In addition to video and Internet services, Verizon said it's seeing increased demand for security services.

Verizon's claims aren't unfounded; a recent AMI Research study found increased interest in managed services and Software as a Service (SaaS).

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