If you believe the Microsoft bashers, open source and software as a service (SaaS) will ultimately destroy Microsoft's traditional software markets and revenue streams. But while open source continues to gain serious momentum, we're not seeing solutions providers and SaaS experts abandon Microsoft. On the contrary, a growing number of Microsoft partners are lining up to support Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and Exchange Server.
The latest example involves Frontpages (www.fpweb.net), a hosting provider that plans to offer Dynamics CRM to small businesses (starting at $99 per month), corporate ($495) and larger enterprises ($4,595 per month).
This isn't Frontpages' first move into the hosted Microsoft applications market. The Frontpages Web Hosting Network also supports:
- Exchange email
- Office Communications Server
- SQL Server
As businesses of all sizes begin to marry their VoIP infrastructure with customer-centric applications, OCS could emerge as a popular platform for managed service providers.
We've also noticed a growing number of Microsoft partners acquiring one another (see the MSPmentor M&A Tracker), in order to round out their SaaS product portfolios and to extend their geographic reach.