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Comcast Business Rolls Cisco into Its Upware Cloud

Cisco’s WebEx Meeting Center Joins MSO’s Curated App Store for SMBs 5/30/2013 8:19 AM Eastern

Cisco’s WebEx Meeting Center is the latest business app to join Upware, a cloud-based, curated marketplace that Comcast Business has developed for its small- and mid-sized customers.

WebEx, a product that enables companies to conduct online meetings and share documents and other content, is the first addition to the menu since Comcast launched Upware in February. According to the Upware site, Comcast is selling WebEx Meeting Center starting at $23.95 per user per month for a package that supports up to 8 participants per meeting, alongside other larger and yearly-based packages.

Upware also sells backup products from Carbonite, GlobeXData and Mozy; data security offerings from Symantec and Websense; and collaboration tools from Box (online storage), Microsoft (Web collaboration), Soonr (online filing sharing) and YouSendIt (document collaboration).

“WebEx is an industry leader and a great example of the Upware philosophy to work with only the top providers in each technology category,” said Comcast Business SVP/GM of new business solutions Kevin O’Toole, in a statement.

Comcast hasn’t revealed revenue splits for Upware, but it represents a potential new revenue stream for Comcast’s growing business services division as it looks to deliver IT services via the proverbial cloud. The unit, which is also targeting mid-sized customers with its Metro Ethernet platform, generated $741 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2013, putting it on pace for almost $3 billion for all of 2013.

Comcast Business likewise has not said how many customers are buying from the Upware storefront during the early phase of the offering, but “we’ve had very good user engagement,” O’Toole said in an interview. “We’re certainly moving product every day.”

Comcast, he said, is starting to ramp up marketing of Upware in select markets. Some recent tactics included separate Webinars highlighting data backup services offered from Upware partners Carbonite and Mozy.

O’Toole said Comcast Business is fielding requests from other vendors that want to become part of Upware. “We’re curating the store…You’ll see us be very disciplined on how we do that,” he said.

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