Microsoft Says Nearly 1 In 6 SMBs Have Cloud Computing Plans
Microsoft’s message to channel partners remains consistent: Embrace cloud computing or get left behind. The latest news hook: Nearly one in six small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have a cloud project planned or underway, according to data from 7th Sense Research. Yes, the research was conducted on behalf of Microsoft. But I’ve got to say: I think 7th Sense Research is under-stating the cloud trend within small businesses.
Fact is, most small businesses use the cloud without even realizing it — whether for email (Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Microsoft Hotmail), document sharing or even payroll services and accounting software.
In an email to media today, Microsoft concedes that “many partners remain skeptical about the cloud, as they project fewer opportunities, lost jobs, decreased margins and more. However, survey findings from both Gartner and Microsoft support the notion that cloud will undoubtedly provide an economic growth opportunity, and not without the help of partners.”
Building on that theme, Microsoft is leveraging expertise from Tiffani Bova, VP of research at Gartner Inc. At the recent Qwest partner summit — called Q.Marketplace 2011 — Bova told attendees, “channel partners ignore cloud services at their own peril.”
To help prepare partners for the cloud, Microsoft continues to promote the Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate initiatives for VARs and MSPs. Some partners continue to express concern about Microsoft’s cloud billing strategy, which doesn’t allow partners to bill end-customers for cloud services. But there are strong indications that Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill is listening closely to partner feedback on the issue.