Microsoft Trains Partners to Master Managed Services

Independent software vendors (ISVs) have always been the lifeblood of Microsoft's business. But these days, Microsoft is maintaining a careful balancing act -- promoting software as a service (SaaS) directly to customers while also recruiting managed service providers to assist the effort.

The latest example: Attenda Limited, which describes itself as the "Always On Managed Services Company," has joined Microsoft's SaaS Incubation Center Program in Europe. SaaS specialists and MSPs should be watching this Microsoft partner program closely. Here's why.

Microsoft's incubation efforts help MSPs and hosted software providers to master the intricacies of Microsoft's online applications. The program also helps partners understand the commercial, financial and technical challenges that ISVs face when moving into the SaaS space, according to a statement from Attenda.

Based in the United Kingdom, Attenda is an HP Signature Partner, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, SAP Adaptive IT Hosting Provider and SunTone accredited MSP.

Microsoft's SaaS initiatives represent both an opportunity and a challenge to partners. Even as the software giant strives to empower partners, Microsoft is also tempted to use direct sales to compete head-on against Salesforce.com and other early SaaS market leaders.

MSPmentor in October 2007 provided readers with these 10 key points to help partners better understand Microsoft's overall SaaS and managed services strategies.

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