Channel Insider features a great article about the recent launch of Microsoft Online Services (Exchnage Online and SharePoint Online to start with) in the US.
Given their focus on the market they zoom in on the partner business ofcourse.
In general they’ve asked Partner was the impact of offering Managed Services was on their overall business :
Channel Insider asked more than 300 managed service providers with more than 18 months experience in delivering managed services what impact managed services had on their other product and services sales. As shown in this graphic, managed service providers saw substantial increases in sales of software and professional services following the initial managed services engagement.
Several Partner highlight their role in recent migrations / implementations of new clients onto Microsoft Online Services:
As part of the SharePoint beta program, Evolve Partners worked with implementing the services offering with two customers—one that was already using an on-premise offering and a virgin account. Based on that experience, Evolve—a solution and managed services provider in Anaheim, Calif.—discovered it could sell high-value, high-margin professional migration, customization and training services to its customers.
“In a one-time migration from Exchange 2003 to 2007 it is no different than if you’re doing it in the cloud. But once it’s done on-premise, you go away. With a service, you can then step back and ask how else you can help them,” says Tim Acker, Evolve’s chief operating officer.
“So many small and medium businesses get through the migration, but they don’t use the application. [Services] frees up the dollars to help them improve utilization. That’s especially good with SharePoint so we can help them with document retention and collaboration, instead of having them worry what version they’re on,” Acker adds. “That’s a huge value to the customer.”
I like this quote best, basicly because it says it all :
“Microsoft is putting its marketing behind services and that’s going to benefit all their partners,”
says Lisa Coleman, director of marketing at Intermedia.