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.
One can activate workers in minutes and decide which employees can get access to certain apps or capabilities, said Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies and new businesses.
Subscriptions start 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 and cloud-based graphic design software.
However, the company is expected to face competition from smaller companies offering remote desktop products and big tech companies such as Microsoft and Cisco selling software catering to remote working.
The total addressable market in the US for virtual workspaces is about $90 billion, representing about 40% of the workforce, Ericsson estimated.
The pandemic has led to many 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 and telecoms correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by Jason Neely)