Intermedia, Ingram Micro Seismic Team on Hosted Exchange

If you're an MSP trying to decide whether to cooperate or compete with Microsoft's SaaS offerings, here's another avenue for you to consider: Ingram Micro Seismic, the master managed service provider, has inked a co-marketing and sales agreement to offer Intermedia's hosted Microsoft offerings -- including hosted Exhange 2007, SharePoint and Dynamics 3.0. Here's a closer look at Ingram Micro Seismic's overall strategy, Intermedia's business model and the emerging Microsoft SaaS industry.

If you've been watching Ingram Micro Seismic closely you'll notice that the organization increasingly promotes multiple options across its service portfolio.

For instance, on the remote monitoring and management front, Ingram Micro Seismic offers both Level Platforms and Nimsoft. And now in the hosted Exchange arena, Ingram Micro Seismic offers both mindSHIFT groupSPARK and Intermedia. I suspect we'll hear more from the Seismic folks during the Ingram Micro VTN (VentureTech Network) conference, being held this week in Denver.

Who Is Intermedia?

Meanwhile, Intermedia is both cooperating and competing with Microsoft in the SaaS market. On the one hand, Intermedia requires continued access to Microsoft's applications. But on the other hand, Intermedia is working hard to compete with Microsoft's own Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) strategy -- which involves Hosted Exchange, Hosted SharePoint and other Microsoft applications moving into the cloud.

Intermedia claims to offer the world's largest Exchange service, hosting more than 225,000 Microsoft Exchange mailboxes. The company says it has offered private label Exchange hosting since 2001 and has more than 4,000 partners. Intermedia's sums up its channel strategy by stating:
Resellers can increase their recurring revenue with high margin Exchange hosting services they sell to their current customers and use to win new business – all under their own brand – while Intermedia maintains, monitors and upgrades the hardware and software.

More Than Hosted Exchange

Still, this is more than a Hosted Exchange strategy for Ingram Micro Seismic and Intermedia. No doubt, Intermedia has been pushing hard into the Hosted SharePoint and hosted unified communications markets.

At the same time, Microsoft continues to ramp up its own BPOS and Windows Azure cloud/SaaS strategies.

Intermedia insists that it will stay ahead of Microsoft's BPOS efforts -- especially as VARs and MSPs work to determine whether to build, buy or partner their way into the hosted Microsoft applications market.

Still, the hosted Microsoft applications market is getting very crowded. Fusepoint, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, in September launched SharePoint managed hosting services along with application development tools for the software. Other companies hosting SharePoint include Apptix, Intermedia, Rackspace Hosting and SherWeb Inc., just to name a few.

If you're still not sure which path to take, the folks at Ingram Micro Seismic are hoping to attract your attention.

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