Are channel partners succeeding with Microsoft Office 365, the cloud platform featuring Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and more? It's difficult to pinpoint overall partner momentum, but it sounds like some SaaS partners -- particularly Slalom Consulting -- are cashing in on Microsoft's cloud suite.
Indeed, Slalom has been named the 2012 Microsoft Office 365 Solution Partner of the Year Award. Although I don't know how many Office 365 engagements Slalom has completed, the company has previously announced numerous customer migrations from Lotus Notes to Exchange and BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), the precursor to Office 365.
Slalom's key cloud wins have included Aon Corp. (scalable messaging), Coca-Cola Enterprises (collaboration portal), Nalco (sales automation), and multiple Windows Azure engagements.
Slalom was founded in 2001 and now has more than 1,500 consultants. Based in Seattle, Wash., it's hardly surprising that the company has a heavy Microsoft focus. In addition to base technologies like Exchange, Slalom focuses on business intelligence and mobility solutions.
The company has previously be named Microsoft's 2010 US Partner of the Year and 2011 Online Services Partner of the Year.
I'm hoping to speak directly with Slalom in the days head to learn more about the company's Office 365 consulting and migration practices. In particular, I'm trying to get a feel for the company's recurring revenue vs. project revenue strategies and expectations.
Office 365 Partner Engagements
Office 365 turns one year old this month. The SaaS suite has proven more stable than its BPOS predecessor. Generally speaking it sounds like small business customers, government organizations and educators (K-12 schools, colleges and universities) are embracing Office 365 -- though competition from Google Apps remains fierce.
Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill has previously hinted that the company considers itself the world's largest provider of cloud software. But much of that momentum involves hosting partnerships with numerous cloud services providers (CSPs).
It's difficult to determine how many smaller VARs and MSPs are succeeding with Office 365, though new facts and updates could emerge at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2012, June 8-12, Toronto).