Sprint Office 365 Blends Cloud Services, Help Desk Services
Sprint is blurring the line between Microsoft Office 365 and IT help desk services. Indeed, Sprint is the latest telecom giant to offer Office 365 syndication services — pumping Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online out to customers. But Sprint (NYSE: S) hopes to stand out in the extremely crowded Office 365 market by bundling migration services (called Carefree Cloud) and IT helpdesk services with various tiers in the effort.
According to a prepared statement from the company:
“Sprint simplifies the purchase, early life, and ongoing support processes with its unique premium Carefree Cloud, “white glove” migration and onboarding assistance, along with online support resources and a user friendly portal to manage the services. Carefree Cloud is available with all Office 365 plans offered by Sprint at no additional charge (when used within the first 90 days of purchase) so companies have the flexibility to receive the level of migration and ongoing support they need.”
The Sprint Office 365 plans start at $6 per user per month. The secret sauce comes from Parallels Automation, a software platform that allows Sprint and other Microsoft partners to “syndicate” Office 365 out to customers. In other words, Office 365 continues to run in Microsoft’s data centers. But Sprint wraps additional services around Office 365, and syndicates those services to end-customers.
Springt’s IT Helpdesk for Office 365 includes unlimited 24/7 remote and onsite technical support for operating system issues, software support and installation, and hardware diagnostics and troubleshooting, including most peripherals and mobile devices. It also includes a financially-backed service guarantee, computer protection software and unlimited secure online data backup, Sprint said
Sprint isn’t stopping there. The company plans to launch an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in late 2012.
I’ll be curious to see how many large enterprises and small businesses opt for Sprint and other telecom providers, rather than purchasing Office 365 directly from Microsoft.