Distributors Embrace Software as a Service

Distributors spent 2007 telling me about their managed services strategies. Now, they're back -- this time, telling me about their software as a service (SaaS) strategies. It's the latest example of SaaS and managed services converging with each other.  Skeptical? Check out the latest news from Avnet, which is launching a SaaS initiative in the email and groupware sector.

Avnet Technology Solutions has launched OneTech Hosted Exchange  Services, which allows VARs to offer managed email services to their customers. The service, according to an Avnet release, includes hosted mailboxes, secure mail  delivery, compliance, filtering and oversight, message archiving, message  availability, mobile device support, and anti-spam and anti-virus protection. The system also features audit trails to ensure corporate compliance.

The hosted email service is part of a broader managed services push at Avnet, which includes database administration, application  support, remote monitoring and management services, and messaging services.

In recent weeks, MSPmentor has increasingly mentioned the clear connection between SaaS and managed services. Still, many VARs continue to wonder how managed services can enhance a SaaS business practice. In a guest blog entry posted January 14, Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford provided some clear answers.

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