Cloud services provider Intermedia is offering a Microsoft Office 365 plan to its "advisor partners" and customers that combines the Microsoft cloud applications with the company's services and support, the company said this week.
The move expands Intermedia's portfolio of cloud services, which already includes hosted Microsoft Exchange e-mail, Microsoft SharePoint file management and PBX conference bridging services, bundled with Intermedia's management tools and security and backup services.
Microsoft launched Office 365 in June 2011 and the company has said the cloud applications have proven especially popular with small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, which account for more than 90 percent of the Office 365 subscriber base.
While Microsoft hosts the Office 365 applications and handles the billing chores itself, it often works in conjunction with channel partners who resell the Office 365 service to customers and provide added services and support. The company also works with a number of syndicators who make the Office 365 service available to their customers, including Bell Canada, Intuit, NTT Communications, Orange and Vodaphone Group.
Intermedia, itself a Gold Microsoft partner, has a growing stable of solution providers, including private label partners who resell the company's hosted services, and some 3,000 "advisor" partners that reference-sell Intermedia's services -- letting the company manage the customer relationship and focusing on their own specific services.
Intermedia has some 11,000 partners, including VARs, MSPs and telecommunications companies. Channel sales grew 40 percent in 2011 and the channel accounted for more than 50 percent of Intermedia's new business in 2011, said president Michael Gold in a recent interview.
Office 365 includes Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, the Professional Plus version of Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) and Office Web Apps -- all bundled with Intermedia support, cloud migration services, PC backup, SpamStopper Pro and other proprietary cloud services.
Because Microsoft is hosting Office 365 rather than Intermedia, it isn't available to the company's private label partners. But Advisor partners can earn recurring commissions for reference sales of the new Intermedia Office 365 service, just as they do with other Intermedia services, according to a company spokesperson. They also can resell add-on products hosted by Intermedia.