Computacenter has entered the cloud services market with a hosted email offering, which the company intends to be the first of a complete line of Computacenter Cloud Computing (C3) services.
Available immediately, C3Mail is based on Microsoft's Exchange Server 2010 but, as with all cloud-based services, does not require customers to install or manage an email server on their own premises.
This task is overseen by Computacenter itself, which is offering customers a guaranteed 99.9 per cent availability of email inboxes for a fixed fee starting at £7.95 per user per month.
Hosted email is just the start of the Computacenter C3 suite, and the firm plans to roll out a hosted SharePoint service for workgroup collaboration later in the first quarter of 2011, and more ambitious offerings further down the road.
These are set to include C3Infrastructure, a pay-per-use compute, storage and network service along the lines of Amazon EC2.
Another is C3DR, offering remote access to hosted IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster, while C3Client will provide access to virtual desktop sessions delivered from the cloud.
However, Computacenter explained that it is moving cautiously as many businesses are still wary of moving vital IT services to the cloud.
"We understand that organisations don't want to move all their IT to the cloud at once, so our C3 approach is about working alongside companies to develop a pragmatic, step-by-step plan for blended IT service delivery with the assurance of flexible service levels and solid enterprise security," said Neil Muller, director of services and solutions at Computacenter.
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