As Microsoft expands the Office 365 cloud beta test, the software giant has identified 27 preferred channel partners to assist corporate Office 365 cloud deployments. So, which channel partners made the list? Glad you asked. Here they are.
According to Microsoft Pinpoint -- a search engine that helps customers find Microsoft channel partners -- the preferred Office 365 deployment partners are:
- En Pointe Technologies Inc., an IT solutions provider in Gardena, Calif.
- Team Venti, a Microsoft Gold Partner in Austin, Texas.
- Covenant Technology Partners, an IT consulting firm in St. Louis, Mo.
- CloudStrategies LLC, a cloud consulting company in Cedar Knolls, N.J.
- MessageOps, a consulting firm focused purely on Microsoft cloud migrations.
- ZAG Technical Services Inc., an IT solutions provider in San Jose, Calif.
- Managed Solution, an outsourced IT specialist in San Diego, Calif.
- Strategic SaaS LLC, a cloud services integrator serving Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Sante Fe, N.M.; Houston, Texas; and Hollywood, Fla.
- SADA Systems Inc., a Microsoft and Google cloud consulting firm in Los Angeles.
- Valorem Consulting, an IT consulting firm in Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.
- Avanade Inc., a Microsoft-centric consulting firm originally funded by Microsoft.
- CDW Corp., the large online reseller.
- CorpInfo Services, an IT consulting and managed services specialist in Los Angeles.
- HCONN Inc., a SharePoint specialist serving Kansas and Iowa.
- Insight, a large IT solutions provider with offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia.
- RBA Consulting, an IT specialist with offices in Minnesota, Texas and Colorado.
- Slalom Consulting, a collaboration specialist in Seattle.
- Apparatus Inc., a managed services provider in Indianapolis, Ind.
- Azaleos Corp., specializes in managed Exchange and managed SharePoint services. Team includes multiple Microsoft veterans. Headquatered in Seattle.
- Bennett Adelson, a Microsoft solution provider in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Concurrency Inc., a Microsoft SharePoint specialist in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; and Chicago.
- Sogeti, an IT consulting firm with offices across the U.S.
- Statera, an IT solutions provider with offices in Denver, Dallas, Pheonix, Salt Lake City and Seattle.
- Tushaus Computer Services, an IT consulting firm in Milwaukee, Wis.
- Virteva, an IT consulting firm in Minneapolis, Minn.
- Thinkspace... TalkinCloud is still looking for deeper company info.
- Softchoice Corp., the well-known online product reseller
Why is Microsoft putting the Office 365 partner spotlight on those 27 companies? TalkinCloud doesn't know for sure. Quite a few of the companies recently surfaced on a Top 10 list of Microsoft cloud partners organized by sales volumes. But this new list seems to be an olive branch from Microsoft to the IT channel.
No doubt, some partners have openly questioned Microsoft's cloud channel strategy -- especially since Microsoft won't allow partners to manage cloud billing for end-customers. But give Microsoft credit. The software giant is connecting the dots between the Office 365 enterprise beta site and the PinPoint partner finder site. Helping customers to find potential Office 365 partners is a healthy step in the right direction.
Follow Talkin’ Cloud via RSS,Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Talkin’ Cloud’s Weekly Newsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Read our editorial disclosures here.