SaaS: Microsoft Launches BPOS Partner Resource Page

Microsoft has launched the “Deploying Business Productivity Online Suite” page, designed to be a self-described one-stop shop for resellers old and new of their SaaS (software as a service) applications like Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. It’s a small but significant move in Microsoft’s fight with Google Apps to ensure the loyalty of the IT channel. Here’s the scoop.

The main event of the new page’s launch is the introduction of the Microsoft Online Deployment Guide for Standard Service (MODG), a comprehensive resource to help when deploying BPOS Standard, according to MSFT’s blog entry.

Other features of the page include links to TechNet forums, other deployment tools, and, most interestingly, a directory for “partner solutions that fill current gaps in our product feature-set.” In other words, Microsoft Online Services is not ready to launch an app store but they still have holes in the offering that need filling.

That same Microsoft blog entry claims the page will be getting updates sooner rather than later, including more ways for customers to find deployment partners and more BPOS tips and tricks from the company itself.

VAR opinions of both Microsoft BPOS and Google Apps vary, no doubt. But both companies are reaching out to the channel in different ways, and The VAR Guy is curious to see if this page’s launch is just the first page of newly-installed Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill’s playbook.

We'll be digging for more BPOS and Windows Azure cloud trends at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (July 11-15, Washington, D.C.).

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