This Week’s Other Big Microsoft Event
At first glance, Microsoft’s world is converging this week around the Oct. 22 Windows 7 launch. But take a closer look and you’ll discover Microsoft promoting another big opportunity for VARs — this on involving SharePoint. Here’s the scoop.
A decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine Microsoft hosting a server-centric conference the same week as a major Windows desktop launch. But SharePoint is a $1 billion business for Microsoft, and the software giant is working hard to expand its ecosystem of SharePoint ISVs and solutions providers.
With those goals in mind, dozens of Microsoft partners are promoting their wares at the SharePoint Conference 2009 (Oct. 19-22, Las Vegas). True believers include Azaleos (a managed service provider that promotes managed Exchange and Managed SharePoint across North America) and SharePoint360, a consulting firm and hosting provider.
At the same time, software companies such as Parallels are helping MSPs to speed their SharePoint SaaS deployments, and security specialists such as Sophos are working with VARs to lock down SharePoint.
The Big Question
The big question for many MSPs and VARs: Should they host SharePoint on their own, or partner up to leverage somebody else’s hosted SharePoint offering. The question becomes even trickier when you consider Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), the software giant’s cloud for running SharePoint, Exchange and other back-end applications.
During the N-able Partner Summit (Oct. 14-16, Arizona), plenty of partners expressed concerns about competing with BPOS. Yet Microsoft has published key information about how VARs can profit from its hosted applications.
This week’s Microsoft SharePoint Conference proves more and more ISVs and solutions providers are interested in SharePoint. But The VAR Guy wonders: Is there still time for MSPs to build their own hosted SharePoint offerings — or has that market reached its saturation point?