In the recent months I have been talking to several of our close partners about the competition, specifically with regard to Microsoft’s BPOS product. Currently, Microsoft has the single biggest advantage in the marketplace for Hosted Exchange and that advantage is the price.
There are some nuances that can be argued over – such as liability, cost of billing, whether or not it is or is not channel friendly, features, limitations, etc – all of which have been addressed in one post or another on Vladville.
The only time I hear about BPOS is when our partners lose their clients to Microsoft.
Let me restate that: The only time partners lose business as VARs/MSPs/etc is when the clients realize that they can work directly with Microsoft and that there is no reason to even consult with the partner.
This is not the case of Microsoft not being channel un-friendly, this is the case of capitalism and Microsoft providing something that the end users and businesses demand.
In this scenario, the discussion comes down to price: Can you do it cheaper than Microsoft and remain the service provider or are you on your way out?
For a lot of people dealing with BPOS, this is their last meaningful IT project they will undertake: the migration to the cloud. Literally all the successful stories around the direct-to-user cloud are from integrators that helped the client move on up.
Can’t fight that.
If the price is the only consideration, we’ll help you keep your clients. Certainly not under the Own Web Now umbrella or our staff & service – but the time for discussion on whether the cloud is real or not is sort of a mute point when you’re losing clients and opportunities to Microsoft who is one tool (Kaseya/LPI/nAble) away from making you an unnecessary obstacle.
If Exchange is to be a commodity, you need it in your solution stack with the appropriate disclaimers – and we’ll help you deliver it. If on the other hand you expect service levels and a product suitable for business, we already help tens of thousands of you deliver it today.
If you’re interested in working with us (and details), firstname.lastname@example.org.
It launches in November.
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