Want to manage Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Lync for customers? Perhaps managed services providers (MSPs) should focus first on maintaining and optimizing Microsoft Active Directory, the underlying directory service for each of those applications.
Indeed, Microsoft is calling on customers to keep Active Directory completely up to date, thereby easing potential transitions from on-premises applications to cloud services like Office 365, Exchange Online and Windows Azure.
While Active Directory dates back more than a decade, maintaining the Microsoft directory service could be an overlooked opportunity for many MSPs.
As Azaleos, a top MSP, puts it:
"Often lost in the entire discussion about the best way to achieve the perfect managed Exchange, managed SharePoint or managed Lync system, is the viability and stability of the Active Directory plumbing. Without a strong managed Active Directory system, and organization is potentially putting all of its other email, collaboration and unified communications systems at risk."Meanwhile, MSPmentor is seeing growing integration between Active Directory and MSP-oriented tools and cloud platforms. One recent example: InnerApps recently announced IDSync Connector, which links Active Directory to Autotask. MSPs can use the Active Directory connection to provision system system access, and privileges for users and resources. Similarly, a tool called ConnectActive links ConnectWise to Active Directory.
In many ways, directory services are old news. But sometimes it pays to take a second look at old opportunities for new revenues...