The writing has been on the wall for several weeks. MSPmentor told Microsoft partners in March that managed service providers needed to master -- or at least explore -- hosted versions of Microsoft Exchange Server, Dynamics CRM and SharePoint. Now, Ingram Micro's Seismic team is hoping to accelerate MSP moves to those hosted applications. Here's the scoop.
Specifically, Ingram Micro Seismic has expanded its software as a service (SaaS) lineup to include those three Microsoft applications. With Seismic, VARs and MSPs can rebrand everything about these services and mark up prices based on what the market will bear, according to an Ingram spokeswoman.
Ingram's expanded lineup now includes:
- Windows SharePoint 3.0 (available now)
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and 2003 (available now)
- Seismic Hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, (debuting in May).
The Bigger PictureIn recent weeks, Microsoft has made a series of hosted software announcements, and MSPs have been working overtime to sort out their Microsoft SaaS strategies.
Microsoft announced its Online Services push on March 3. At the same time, some MSPs are starting to buy up hosted Microsoft application providers. The most recent such deal involved mindSHIFT acquiring Collaboration Online.
Other MSPs -- such as Azaleos -- are moving up the food chain by introducing security services for hosted Microsoft applications.
Still, not all VARs and integrators have the financial pockets or technical expertise required to build out network operation centers capable of hosting Microsoft applications. Also, some MSPs are concerned about potentially competing with Microsoft in the SaaS market.
Enter Ingram Micro and Seismic. Assuming the new Ingram services work as advertised, they could offer MSPs low cost, easy access into the hosted Microsoft applications market.
The Microsoft offerings join Ingram's growing portfolio of Seismic services, including Hosted RMM, Print Monitoring and Management, Online Backup and Restore, E-mail and Web Defense, Network Operations Center (NOC), Hosted Professional Services Automation (PSA), Remote Support, Threat Manager, Log Manager, and Help Desk services. The hosted solutions can be purchased together or separately, acccording to Ingram.