Even as the world shifts from Windows to the Web, Microsoft partners remain highly coveted. The latest example: Autotask has announced a special offer for Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) partners. It reminds me (somewhat) of a free offer N-able made to Microsoft partners in April.
Here's some more info on Autotask's move, and the continued influence Microsoft has over the IT channel.
For starters, Autotask has introduced an SMB Edition that includes pre-loaded workflow rules, project templates, service ticket templates, intelligent hyperlinks and sample agreements designed to get users up and running faster, according to Autotask. The software's best practices were developed by Microsoft SBSC partners.
SMB Edition retails for $195 as an add-on to Autotask Go!, and $295 as an add-on to Autotask Pro.
Paging All Microsoft PartnersNow, for the Microsoft connection. Under a marketing partnership between Autotask and Microsoft, SBSC partners qualify to get the new template at no additional cost.
Clearly, recruiting Microsoft partners into the managed services market is a top priority for many platform providers. It seems as if the vast majority of MSPs are former Wintel resellers.
Ironically, I was discussing this trend yesterday during a meeting with Nimsoft. And back in April, N-able announced a special software promotion aimed at Microsoft partners.
So, a few takeaways: The world is moving to Web 2.0, and it's no longer a Windows-centric IT industry. However, Microsoft and its partners remain influential and powerful. And MSPs themselves see continued value in Microsoft platforms. In fact, MSPs focused on hosted Exchange Server, Dynamics CRM and SharePoint are acquiring one another.
Microsoft is no longer a software monopoly, but anyone who ignores the company and its partners is foolish. Autotask and N-able were wise to reach out to one of the strongest partner communities in the world.