MSPs Add Their Own Spin to Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server

MSPs Add Their Own Spin to Hosted Microsoft Exchange Server

EmailThe same day Microsoft announced its software as a service (SaaS) strategy, some managed service providers are putting their own spin on the hosted Exchange market.

For instance, Azaleos announced a flat-fee offer for midsize companies (up to 1,000 users) seeking to migrate Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and Pre-2007 Exchange environments to its managed OneStop service.

Aspiring MSPs and established Microsoft partners can learn several key things from the Azaleos strategy.

First, consider how Azaleos is differentiating itself. Azaleos says it has a "hybrid" model that combines an on-site appliance with remote management services. This approach, the Seattle-based company says, maintains e-mail data behind the customer's firewall and preserves Active Directory investments.

While many businesses are outsourcing email, some companies worry about giving up their internal data. Azaleos, in theory, provides the best of both worlds by delivering a hybrid on-premise solution that's managed remotely. The company backs up its messaging with a white paper explaining OneStop's business advantages.

Next, consider Azaleos' simple but effective tagline: "The managed Microsoft Exchange services company." On the upside, the tagline clearly communicates Azaleos' business focus. It also communicates that the company's services go beyond basic Exchange offerings. On the downside, Azaleos may need to tweak its tagline when or if it moves into other managed services markets.

The takeaways for peer MSPs are clear: Develop a clear, concise brand. Find a way to ride the Microsoft SaaS wave while differentiating yourself a bit from the software giant. And reinforce your unique selling proposition through company messaging, such as a white paper.

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