Votela, a provider of enterprise unified-communications-as-a-service or UCaas, announced this morning that it can support value-added resellers and managed services providers in their efforts to provide unified communications in the cloud. CEO Adam Cole describes what Votela offers as "that middleware engine that gives them all the tools, the carrier services, the billing, the taxation, middleware proxy to enable everybody to deliver cloud for telephony."

Votela is a carrier and North American distributor for Siemens Openscape unified communications, which provides integrated voice over IP, presence awareness and videoconferencing, according to Cole. The solution can work on any hardware, as long as there's a session border controller, Cole says. With today's announcement, Votela is broadening its service to cloud-enable other unified communications solutions.

When such services are provided as a service, is there as much need for a VAR as when the technology is installed on premise?

"There's always a need for VAR and what we call the 'last mile of love,' that person delivering the solution that knows the network the best and that knows the infrastructure," Cole says.