Looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use alternative to hosted email services that doesn’t involve turning your customers directly over to Microsoft?
Check out CloudPlus.
Yesterday, CloudPlus (né VAR Dynamics) unveiled a white-label alternative that allows partners to provision and manage Microsoft Office 365 services without relying on Microsoft’s front-end interface. CloudPlus not only distributes the cloud service, it also provides a host of underlying management capabilities to boot.
This makes CloudPlus “the first and only true, hosted services distribution company with a customer facing front-end that is private labeled,” says CloudPlus CEO and founder Tony Francisco.
For now, CloudPlus is offering O365 Business, O365 Business Essentials and O365 Business Premium within the Service Suites section of the Hosted Services Catalog. Looking ahead, CloudPlus is hoping to expand its portfolio, building off its base of hosted email services. “Starting off as the fourth-ever hosted Exchange provider in the world, there is a heavy emphasis on email and add-ons to that service. This includes email archiving solutions, business continuity solutions, email encryption solutions, etc. We have branched out from there to Microsoft SharePoint, CRM, Microsoft for Business and things outside of the Microsoft stack including Secure Designs, SmarterMail, Zimbra and Intronis.”
And in the future? After spending the better part of the year rebuilding its platform, the company is looking at building services around technology from Mozy, eFolder and Datto, just to name a few.
Today, CloudPlus works with thousands of partners, several hundred of which are active at any one time. But the company expects its most recent announcements to give it new momentum, especially with partners including master agent Telarus. From one partner alone, the company has already switched over 6,000 seats to Office 365.
Speaking of Telarus, the Utah-based national distributor of voice, data and cloud infrastructure services, announced on Tuesday that it will now distribute cloud-based, unified communications and contact center services from 8x8 (NASDAQ:EGHT). According to Telarus, this will “enable its sales partners to move from selling product-centric, legacy communications systems to delivering modern communications experiences via an agile industry-leading, cloud communications solution.”
Continuing the thread, I saw that Telarus co-founder Patrick Oborn likes a #transformationtuesday Tweet from ole friend and super telecom agent Michael Bremmer. Bremmer is the CEO of Telecomquotes.com and well liked member of the telecom agent community. Earlier this month Bremmer posted an interesting take on disruptive innovation on LinkedIn entitled “Never Saw It Coming.” Disruption can happen anywhere and by anyone, he notes. Take Uber.
If you were to set out a few years ago to disrupt the transportation and livery industry, you probably would have thought in terms of hiring drivers, buying a fleet a vehicles, etc. But not Uber. Instead, it married a slick software app with the devices consumers already owned. That was disruptive.
Musing about disruption, Bremmer believes that innovation is taking more jobs than ever. As for the channel, he thinks several technologies, in particular, are disrupting solution providers and traditional vendors.
“With my industry, I think SD WAN, Google Fi and Software-as-a Service (Salesforce, Google Apps, etc.) have permanently changed the game,” Bremmer writes. SD WAN allows companies to replace expensive MPLS networks, he says, while SaaS eliminates the need for expensive servers.
“I think the most dangerous thought is ‘my job could never be done by a robot,’” he says.
Worth your time for sure.
Lastly we promised an update from Avnet’s annual Solutions Partner Summit. Here it is: On Tuesday, the company launched a managed security service program called Recon that provides customers with 24x7x365 security monitoring and management. “Recon is designed to enhance partners’ practices and margins in the security and services markets,” Avnet says. “Partners can offer the service either as their own branded offering through a white-label approach or as an Avnet-branded service.”
Here’s hoping your Tuesday is transformative.