HostingCon: Microsoft Office 15 Meets Cloud Services, VDI?
As the Microsoft Office 15 launch apparently approaches in San Francisco, hosting providers and cloud services providers (CSPs) are gathering for Boston HostingCon 2012. At the cloud hosting event, many attendees will discuss Office as a cloud service or as a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) service. The big question: How soon will Office 15 as a service go mainstream with hosting providers and VDI channel partners?
The answer won’t be easy to determine. While Office 15 is expected to ship in late 2012 or so (perhaps in time for Windows 8’s launch in October), hosting providers will need extensive time to test the new suite. Plus, hosting providers will need to see if Microsoft adjusts its service provider licensing agreement (SPLA) strategy amid the shift to Office 15.
Meanwhile, VARs need to understand how Office 15 will be positioned for VDI and DaaS (desktop as a service) rollouts. A growing number of businesses want VDI and DaaS, viewing it as a way to give all devices — iPad and Android tablets, smartphones, notebooks, PCs, etc.) — access to productivity applications.
How should VARs prep for Office 15 in a cloud, VDI or DaaS configuration? The VAR Guy’ advice: Keep an eye on such companies as:
- nGenX — which is working closely with Citrix Systems, Google, Microsoft and Rackspace on desktop as a service (DaaS) offerings.
- Don’t overlook OS33, which makes a next-generation SaaS platform for managed services providers. True believers include LevelCloud.
- Check in with LuxCloud‘s own Hosted365, which gives service providers, telecom operators and VARs the opportunity to offer hosted desktops with web-based versions of Microsoft Office. (LuxCloud will be at HostingCon, The VAR Guy has heard.)
Ironically, Microsoft is not listed as a HostingCon exhibitor. But there will be plenty of hosted Microsoft Office chatter at the event, The VAR Guy has heard…