Choosing the Right Office 365 for Small Business Server Customers

Microsoft has launched several new Office 365 for business SKUs. Which one should Windows Small Business Server (SBS) partners offer? Here's a definitive answer.

The VAR Guy

March 5, 2013

3 Min Read
Choosing the Right Office 365 for Small Business Server Customers

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has launched new Office 365 business capabilities. The cloud suite, which features Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, could provide an ideal upgrade path for Windows Small Business Server (SBS) customers. But there are numerous Office 365 SKUs from which to choose. Which one is right for channel partners and their customers? The VAR Guy has a definitive answer. Here it is.

First, a little background: Microsoft effectively killed Windows SBS development in 2012. A potential alternative, Windows Server Essentials, really doesn’t offer apples-to-apples upgrade capabilities vs. SBS. So over the long haul, cloud-based applications like Office 365 could emerge as a preferred upgrade path for the aging SBS installed base.

But which Office 365 is right for partners and customers? The VAR Guy believes there are roughly 8 Office 365 SKUs from which to choose, ranging from super-small business options (1 to 10 users) up to enterprise users (50,000+).

Instead of being paralyzed by choice, The VAR Guy recommends Microsoft partners focus on this specific SKU: Office 365 Midsize Business, which is designed for 10 to 250 employees.

According to Microsoft:

“This service includes Office 365 ProPlus and provides midsize businesses with enterprise-quality communication and collaboration with Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online — along with the simplified IT tools they need to maintain control while reducing complexity. Active Directory integration, a Web-based administration console and business-hours phone support are also included. Pricing is $180 per user for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $15 per user, per month.”

And here’s the twist: Office 365 Midsize Business also supports Open, a new sales model that allows channel partners to manage end-customer billing for cloud services. That’s a key capability many partners have awaited. Now, it’s here.

Will SBS partners jump in? Hmmm…

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like