It's the question I hear all the time: Can managed service providers truly profit from Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) cloud applications? And if so, where will MSPs add value? Apparently, Level Platforms wants to provide the answer to that question.
A few hours ago, Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford sent me an email that contained only one complete sentence. His simple statement: "I think this is a game changer." An attached document described how Level Platforms is helping MSPs to remotely monitor and manage a range of Microsoft-based cloud applications.
I have to be frank: Each time I hear from a software industry CEO, the email typically includes a "game changer" statement. But I must concede: Sandiford's message caught my immediate attention.
Setting the StageDuring the Ingram Micro Seismic Partner Conference in Dallas last week, many MSPs were trying to figure out how they could start to manage and tie together third-party cloud services. And Ingram itself described some new tools for managing multiple MSP services and cloud applications.
A big topic of discussion at the event was Microsoft BPOS -- the software giant's emerging cloud for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and other applications. The question I heard over and over again: Is there room for MSPs to add value to BPOS?
Answering the QuestionNow along comes Level Platforms and the company's new Managed Cloud Services capability. According to a Level Platforms press release:
With Level Platforms Managed Cloud Services, solution providers can now monitor and manage the health of both local infrastructure and Cloud Services from one central web-based console allowing a complete view of the entire computing environment of all their SMB customersAccording to Level Platforms, Certified Managed Cloud Services vendors at launch include:
Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite featuring Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting, as well as groupSPARK’s private label Microsoft Exchange hosting services.Forgive me, but I can't recall if another MSP software company has announced such a concise plan to help MSPs managed BPOS applications. (Post a comment if you're aware of such work.)
Does Level Platforms' cloud management system work? How much does it cost? What margins can you generate? Again, forgive me for being short on details.
But, let's close with a big-picture thought: Whether you use Level Platforms' software or not, Sandiford today communicated where the managed services market is heading next: Toward Redmond's cloud.
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