Ericsson to launch subscription service for remote office


FILE PHOTO: Ericsson logo is seen at its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Olof Swahnberg/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's Ericsson on Tuesday unveiled a subscription service for remote working in North America that would allow employees of small businesses to start working from home in minutes with access to licensed apps, cloud storage and security tools.

The company, known for selling telecom equipment to phone companies, has been benefiting from the sale of 5G gear and is now looking to diversify into other business areas.

A business customer can buy applications from a marketplace, access the platform from any device and would not need a dedicated IT technician to set up the system.

Not only can one activate workers in minutes, they can decide which employees can get access to certain apps or capabilities, said Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies and new businesses.

And subscription starts at around $100 per employee, per month, she said.

Ericsson has tied up with various companies to offer access to business applications such as Microsoft Office suite to cloud-based graphic design software.

However, the company is expected to face competition from smaller companies offering remote desktop products to big tech companies such as Microsoft and Cisco selling software catering to remote working.

The total addressable market in the U.S. for virtual workspaces is about $90 billion, representing about 40% of the workforce, Ericsson estimated.

The pandemic has led to a majority of employees working from home, creating challenges for companies in providing IT support to workers and securing its networks.

Ericsson said it has partnered with technology services distributor Telarus to sell subscriptions for the platform.

The company started working on the service with two employees in March 2020 and later added more than 100 workers and has bought a virtual desktop company, Tamsons said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by Jason Neely)

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