(The Hosting News) – Parallels®, the hosting and Cloud services enablement leader, today announced the latest release of Parallels Plesk Panel, its leading control panel tool for managing the delivery of hosted services to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Parallels Plesk Panel 10.3 includes numerous enhancements that extend its lead as the industry’s most complete, cost-efficient control panel for service providers who are marketing and managing hosted services to SMBs. Parallels Plesk Panel power users and customers can also now participate in the new Parallels Product Expert (PPE) program, which provides an online community to interact with experts that are well-versed on the deployment and management of Parallels platforms. Parallels Plesk Panel 10.3 and the Parallels Product Expert program were introduced here at HostingCon 2011, the premier conference and trade show for the hosted services industry, which attracts industry professionals from over 30 countries.
Among Plesk Panel 10.3’s new features is the integration for directly managing Facebook and other social media applications, via the introduction of Parallels Plesk Web Presence Builder (replacing the formerly-named Parallels Plesk Sitebuilder). The name change reflects Parallels Plesk Panel’s expansion of capabilities for managing any company’s Web presence, including: the building of full websites using hundreds of business-specific templates; updating and posting social media content to sites such as Facebook; creating and launching applications such as online stores and other e-commerce activities; and support for file sharing, multimedia and other Cloud-based content.
In a 2011 survey conducted by Parallels, more than half of the SMBs polled that have an active website also maintain a social media presence such as a Facebook page, reflecting the increasing importance of Cloud-based social networks as business tools. “Linking a company’s website to its social networking presence has become essential for SMBs to build a community of interest and drive engagement with their customers,” said John Zanni, VP of Service Provider Marketing, Parallels. “The new suite of capabilities in Parallels Plesk Panel simplifies the task of keeping Facebook and other social media content fresh and engaging. These innovative features, along with the expansion of our support ecosystem with the Parallels Product Expert program, continue to help our service providers and their own SMB customers stay ahead of the competitors and reap the benefits of an integrated Web presence.”
Additional capabilities of Parallels Plesk Panel 10.3 include:
- File sharing – Users can easily share files or publish them to the public
- User-selectable interface – Toggle between power-user mode and hosting-mode with a single click
- Drag-and-drop online stores – Drag and drop online store templates, order forms and other e-commerce components directly into existing websites using Parallels Web Presence Builder
- Improved billing interface – Allows customers to more easily access invoices
- New billing order form – Updated for easier integration
Parallels Product Expert program
In conjunction with the introduction of Plesk Panel 10.3, Parallels unveiled the Parallels Product Expert (PPE) program, which will empower the most active and helpful members of the Parallels product forums, with an initial focus on support for Parallels Plesk Panel products. Experts from the Parallels community who demonstrate a high level of technical knowledge of Parallels Plesk Panel are eligible to join the program. Accepted PPEs will interact directly with the Parallels technical staff as well as the growing community of Parallels Plesk Panel users. They will have access to pre-release reviews of product roadmaps and be able to beta test future software. Those users selected for inclusion in the PPE program will receive public recognition on the Parallels website, and a special PPE designation to display along with their forum posts.
“Parallels continues to add great new enhancements to Parallels Plesk Panel, such as full IPv6 functionality, and also has provided continuous enhancements to its support efforts,” said David Cottle, Director of Engineering – IDB Satellite Communications at Aus-City, a growing Web Hosting and consulting firm. “As a Parallels Plesk Panel shop, we look forward to both participating in and benefiting from the new Parallels Product Expert program, which is a demonstration of Parallel’s ongoing commitment to building and fostering a rich ecosystem within the hosting community.”
HostingCon attendees can view a demo of Parallels Plesk Panel 10.3 at Parallels booth #411, and can learn more about the future of the hosting industry at the keynote address from Parallels’ CEO Birger Steen entitled “Road Ahead: More Customers, More Services, More Opportunity – and More Competition” at 10:00 a.m. PT on Wednesday, August 10.
Parallels is a worldwide leader in hosting and cloud service enablement and desktop virtualization. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. You can follow updates at www.parallels.com, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ParallelsPanel and www.twitter.com/ParallelsCloud.