Microsoft nips partner heels

Microsoft nips partner heels

Microsoft extends its hosted services, pitting it against partners

Software leviathan Microsoft rocked the channel boat last week by extending its hosted services to businesses of all sizes, potentially positioning itself as a competitor to its partners.

Launched last year, Microsoft’s Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online were made available to enterprises only, to allow its channel partners to support the SME space.

Clare Barclay, director of partner strategy and programmes for Microsoft UK, said the move is due to the rapid acceleration of the vendor’s Software plus Services model.

“Some customers may want this service directly through Microsoft instead of a partner. If a reseller is not providing this service for a customer then Microsoft will, so they do not miss out,” she said.

Barclay explained that Microsoft will offer its partners an infrastructure that services can be wrapped around. This will provide them with a monthly revenue stream and shorten sales cycles. “Microsoft wants to help its partners get on the Software plus Services bandwagon,” she said.