Azaleos: MSP Continues to Bet Heavily on Microsoft

Azaleos, the Seattle, Wash.-based MSP, continues to build a closer working relationship with Microsoft. In fact, Azaleos has once again earned the Microsoft  Gold Partner status. Looking ahead, it sounds like Azaleos will help customers migrate from Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS) to the forthcoming Office 365, among other initiatives.

If you recall, Microsoft announced Office 365 in October 2010, with an actual availability expected sometime in 2011. Some MSPs are re-thinking their Microsoft relationship, fearing potential cloud competition from Microsoft in the SMB market. But Azaleos continues to see value in the Microsoft relationship.

"For one, you get the lead generation service from the Microsoft field people," said Scott Gode, VP of product management and marketing at Azaleos. "And secondly, even if a client didn't come to us from Microsoft, most potential clients look for that Microsoft partner standing as a sort of "check box" before doing business with us."

For example, Azaleos is a Microsoft Gold partner in Unified Communications and in Portals and Collaboration Competencies. Four company experts must take and pass the exam for the company to earn partner status. Previously, experts could take more than one test to fulfill multi-competency requirements.

Azaleos has more than 250 customers across the United States, Europe and Asia. "We're not a typical MSP because hosting plays no role in what we do. We believe customers should have their applications running away from Azaleos. We help them develop private clouds if they don't want to store data on-site. So our model doesn't require us to open network operation centers in foreign countries. Everything we do is remote and hands-off."

To renew their Microsoft partnership as many times over as Azaleos has, the company must demonstrate a high level of influence, which it has done by taking its MSP play international and expanding its clientele range from strictly SMB's to the enterprise space.

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TAGS: Leadership
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