Exchange & SharePoint MSPs Get Fired Up

Microsoft's announcement of Microsoft Online Services, a fancy name for host Exchange 2007 and SharePoint 2007, is getting a quick and expected response from existing MSP hosting companies. Here are a few articles with MSP reactions from MSPmentor and groupSPARK.

Microsoft's entry into the SaaS market is more of a lamb than a lion, given many MSPs have been offering the same, and more, for quite some time.

Can Exchange / SharePoint MSPs survive and compete effectively against Microsoft? Absolutely.

Now, Microsoft is going to get more than their fair share of customers just because the hosted "software plus services" are provided by Microsoft. But anyone wanting more than just Exchange and SharePoint are likely to be disappoint in Microsoft services.

MSPs will have to differentiate by offering other services integrated with Exchange and SharePoint. How about BlackBerry services, Lotus Notes integration, migration services from other products, integration with services like Salesforce.com and other CRM systems. MSPs can also rebrand their hosted services under other partner names, where channel partners reselling Microsoft Online Services won't have that option.

MSPs are going to have to work harder to compete with Microsoft's new SaaS service, but this isn't the end of the road for them. They are just going to have to work harder, offer more and better services, and take great care of their customers.

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