My god Vlad, what did you do?

Boss, Exchange, ExchangeDefender, OwnWebNow

Earlier today I held our final webcast of 2010 – in no small way it’s the biggest, most ambitious thing we’ve ever done. And we’ve spent entire 2010 to bring our organization and our relationships to the level to actually make this possible.

I’ve posted my professional thoughts on the subject as the CEO of Own Web Now here: ExchangeDefender Managed Messaging. Here is the more volatile angle:

In a nutshell: I’m tired of bitching, moaning and excuses for not building a business model around the cloud and the messaging platform. I know there are plenty of real business concerns that are hard to make but try to think back to when you started a business and the faith you had in yourself and your solution. Were you immediately profitable? No. Did you have a winning combination that was fool proof? Probably not. But over time things get perfected, details get ironed out and you build a successful business model on top of it. Yes, it took a ton of sacrifice. But look at you now!

Many are looking at the cloud right now and the margins make the sacrifice component less and less tasty. Nothing good happens while standing still in an ever changing world. Not for you, not for me. So considering how well we’ve done through the years, we owed our partners this one. Here is what it is:

Completely managed end-to-end messaging solution built and supported by one vendor with your brand name on the front. When I say completely managed, I mean it: We’ll configure it. We’ll install Outlook. We’ll migrate the mail profile. We’ll support the end user. We’ll bill them. We’ll collect money from them. We’ll cut the commission checks.

This is a culmination of all the bitching, moaning and complaints feedback we’ve gotten about the cloud. Some of it is very legitimate: It takes a lot of time to run the business side of billing, collections and accounting. It takes a lot of time to do the setup and migration but clients hate paying for it. Some of it is not.

So what did we actually do?

First of all, we changed nothing. Our packages are still the same packages with the same pricing, same offering and same specs.

We added a new tier at the top of our offering that includes everything. Everything. Trust and believe that. Because if it breaks, we don’t get paid.

It starts on January 1st. Smile

Initial response has been amazing – and I hope we help a ton of people build a great business in the cloud. This is, pardon the self high five, huge. I don’t know of a time that someone decided to do all of the work – end to end – under your brand and even give you control of the account.

One question did stand out: “So wait, you’re going to set the price on this?* Cause I can sell it for $75/month easy.Slow down. First, the price has to be set in order for us to actually bill the client – and it gets really messy very quickly so it’s not something we could answer right away. Second, we kept it relatively low because in order to make money in the cloud you need volume. Scratch that – in order to make any value on this as an MSP/VAR you need volume – you need a ton of clients to farm and deploy your existing MSP solutions into. If you’re looking to get rich on a few uninformed clients you’re really cheating yourself out of building a huge market presence for yourself.

I’ll explain the reasoning behind the rest of these moves throughout the holiday season. I’m sure the more cynical in the bunch would doubt the sincerity of what we’re doing and I have two things to say about that: 1) Check our track record, we’re always behind our partners and 2) Sitting around and doing nothing will always lose to us actually doing something to help.

Looking forward to a great 2011 with all of my readers and partners. Thank you for your support and attention, as always!

* I am not providing the actual pricing structure in public because this will only be available through our partners. Want to know? Sign up here.

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