MSP Today Expert Feature
February 20, 2013

Comcast Upware Targets Small Businesses, Provides Software Marketplace

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the United States, representing a major portion of jobs and business conducted. Supplying things that small businesses need, meanwhile, is an equally worthwhile field of endeavor, and Comcast (News - Alert) is looking to get in on that market with today's announcement of its new Upware marketplace.

Comcast's Upware marketplace is a set of cloud-based business solutions offered by a closely curated list of third-party providers with an eye toward providing the solutions that small businesses need. Companies like Box, Carbonite, Norton and Microsoft (News - Alert) appear in the Upware marketplace, offering solutions to issues like collaboration needs and data protection, including both backup and security products to both protect data in its current location and allow for data migration, providing an added note of security by giving data a safe house away from the network.

Comcast is out to offer convenience here first and possibly foremost. It's putting a large number of possible solutions to standard business problems in one place, easily accessed, and easily managed with just a single sign-on environment. For businesses that are fighting tooth and nail to make profit in a challenging environment, that kind of convenience is hard to pass up. Moreover, users get access to an easy troubleshooting environment, with one number to call for support on all the relevant products and services found in the Upware marketplace. That's no less valuable in its own right. Additionally, there will be more to follow, both in the categories currently established and with new categories to follow.

Comcast will even have a line of its own solutions in play like Business VoiceEdge, Signature Support and Website Hosting, providing even more capability that isn't related to the businesses under Comcast's umbrella.

But by like token, a business needs to ask itself collectively: are these presented solutions the best ones for this business? Just because Comcast has brought several solutions together and put them all in one handy place doesn't necessarily make them the best solutions. There are a variety of different possibilities out there; picking from outside Comcast's tent show here may well yield better overall solutions in terms of data protection and collaboration tools. Additionally, there are still plenty of venues for which Comcast offers no help at all, and many businesses may not be interested in waiting around.

Still, for one-stop shopping in terms of small business solutions, seeing what Comcast has to offer will likely be rewarded with answers to many problems, or if nothing else, necessary perspective on what's available.

Edited by Brooke Neuman