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PanTerra Networks merges online file sharing, unified communications

By merging its SmartBox cloud file sharing with Unified Cloud Communications, PanTerra extends its sync-and-share services to tablets and smartphones.

PanTerra Networks, a unified cloud service provider, extended its SmartBox online file-sharing hosted service to expand the types of communications for mobile workers.

The new SmartBox-Unified Cloud Communications (UCC) extends PanTerra's desktop sync-and-share and communication capabilities to mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and SIP-based IP phones. It runs on iOS and Android-based devices, and uses Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G cellular networks. The application has also enabled multi-phase authentication and encrypted communications across all devices.

SmartBox-UCC gives mobile workers the ability to do real-time communication with face-time video and audio conferencing, instant messaging and full-Web meeting while sharing documents.

SmartBox-UCC is a combination of SmartBox, which launched last January, and PanTerra Networks' UCC mobile communications app.

"We combined two applications into a single functional unified application," said PanTerra CEO Arthur Chang. "I can share presentations and conduct a video call all without leaving that application. We had integrated those capabilities in Mac and Windows desktops, but it took a bit longer to integrate the mobile application."

SmartBox-UCC allows content sharing for Microsoft Word and Excel files, PDFs, emails and voicemail.

"Your voicemails look a bit like MP3 files in a voicemail folder," Chang said.

The application's security features include encryption for data in transit and data at rest, remote blocking for IT administrators and the ability to whitelist an IP range for multi-level authentication. If a user logs into the service with a new device, the database assumes the log-in has been stolen so it requests another authentication.

Colm Keegan, senior analyst at Storage Switzerland, said PanTerra has hit on all the security pieces needed for this type of application.

"They took their desktop application and pushed it to the mobile level," Keegan said. "Think [about] how many people are working in the field but not working on laptops. This is a single point that gives you all these features that normally are disparate. They make the communications aspect more seamless rather than having to manage multiple applications to communicate."

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