vJungle Leads ASPs to the Channel

Application infrastructure provider vJungle is making it easy for ASPs to connect with the small business market by releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) for ASPs, providing integration of their offerings into vJungle’s OpenEX platform for distribution by its channel partners to their small business customers.

Benefits to partners integrating their services into OpenEX include expanded distribution opportunities through branded channel partners such as Hewlett-Packard, Office Depot, Working Woman Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), lower cost of customer acquisition and increased customer base and retention. Additionally, vJungle will provide support to service providers throughout the integration process with design, integration and launch of the services.

“SMBs aren’t going to use ASP services one at a time, and they’re not going to buy from unknown brands,” Deepak Amin, CEO of vJungle, told ASP News. By distributing multiple applications from a single point of contact through existing channels that the SMB has a relationship with, vJungle can get in the door easier, and likely sell more applications to each customer, he said.

Additionally, any service integrated into the OpenEX platform is now wirelessly enabled, providing ASPs the opportunity to enrich their applications and tightly integrate with other providers in vJungle’s services network. “Of course, not all applications are conducive for cell phone use,” Amin said. “But things like messaging do make sense.”

For channel partners, the SDK delivers operational scalability removing the barriers for integrating third-party services, independent of vJungle’s involvement, into their offering. The SDKs also enables them to fully customize offerings, packaging, pricing and promotions targeting specific customer needs.

For example, a vJungle partner can deliver a branded solution of services within a unified user interface while retaining complete control over the services available to customers with the ability to quickly integrate additional services into the offering.

“Our business model and the purpose of the SDKs is to empower our partners with the tools necessary to independently and rapidly integrate and scale services for their small-business customers,” Amin said. “To serve growing businesses, we are aligning ourselves with trusted brands that can tailor applications to meet the needs within the small-business arena. In the long run, this will offer end-users greater security because the services will not be dependent on a single provider.”

The OpenEX SDK will be soon be available for service and channel partners. vJungle’s OpenEX platform currently includes business services such as unlimited company-wide email accounts, instant messaging, company intranet, file sharing and storage, bookkeeping, contact manager, calendar and an easy-to-use Web site builder. Additionally, fee-based services include electronic bill payment, payroll, online print shop and electronic fax capabilities.

Amin believes that utilizing channel partners is an obvious choice to put ASPs on the road to success. “We know how to build platforms — that’s our core competency,” Amin told ASP News. “You can’t try to be everything to everybody. Otherwise, you’ll end up being nothing to nobody.”

Based in Redmond, Wash., vJungle was founded in 1999. Investors in the privately held company include Venkatesh Harinarayan, director Amazon.com and co-founder of Junglee Corp.; Rajeev Motwani, associate professor, Stanford University; Ben Rosen, former chairman of Compaq Computers; Andreas Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder of Granite Systems; Angel (Q) Investors II, L.P.; Empire Capital Partners; Media Technology Entrepreneurs Fund II, L.P; Media Technology Equity Partners, L.P.; Hewlett-Packard Corporation; Office Depot, Inc.; and Ramp Networks, Inc.

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