Office 365 Marketplace Grows to 174 Partner Applications
When Microsoft launches Office 365 on June 28, the software giant hopes plenty of software partners climb aboard the cloud computing bandwagon. With that thought in mind, roughly 174 application providers now promote their software in the Office 365 Marketplace, which remains in beta mode.
Admittedly, Microsoft is in catch-up mode — attempting to counter Google’s one-year-old Google Apps Marketplace and emerging cloud aggregator web sites like the Ingram Micro Cloud. But it’s still early in the cloud application game, and Microsoft partners seem to be taking a closer look at the Office 365 Marketplace Beta. Among the highlights so far:
- Overall, 272 companies are now listed in the marketplace;
- 174 application providers promote their wares in the marketplace; and
- 204 professional services are listed… a prime area for VARs and MSPs to promote their Office 365 integration expertise.
Of course, the Microsoft marketplace beta figures are drops in the bucket compared to the massive app stores that serve Apple iOS and Google Android customers. But those are not really apples to apples comparisons.
Office 365 is in its infancy. For the Microsoft cloud suite to succeed, Microsoft must ensure Office 365 offers rock-solid reliability and a big ecosystem of partners that deliver application integration services. No doubt, Office 365’s predecessor — called Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) — suffered its share of unplanned outages. The BPOS setbacks sent many VARs and MSPs to rival service providers for hosted Exchange.
So far, feedback about the Office 365 beta seems to have organized channel into four distinct camps — (1) true believers, (2) classic resellers, (3) curious observers and (4) staunch critics. If the Office 365 Marketplace can attract more software partners, then perhaps the broader IT channel will open its arms wider to Microsoft’s cloud applications.