Tech Data Tightens Cloud Integration With Microsoft To Unlock Simpler Experience For SMBs


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Tech Data said it will integrate Microsoft's new Office 365, mobility and security suite with the distributor's pre-configured Microsoft Azure-based cloud server for small businesses.

The Clearwater, Fla.-based company said it will be one of just five companies – and the only distributor – going live during the 2017 Microsoft Inspire conference with a system around Microsoft 365 Business that can be demoed, according to Reza Honarmand, vice president of Tech Data Cloud Europe.   

"The Microsoft guys were extremely surprised we were able to turn it around," Honarmand told CRN. "We're very proud that we were chosen for this."

[RELATED: CRN Exclusive: Tech Data Gives SMB-Focused Partners A Leg Up With New Pre-Configured Microsoft Azure-Based Cloud Server]

Tech Data has been working very closely with Microsoft since April to integrate the Redmond, Wash.-based vendor's 365 Business into the distributor's small-business cloud server, which debuted last month, according to Stacy Nethercoat, vice president of Tech Data cloud solutions, Americas. The distributor is Microsoft's second-largest partner globally, and the market leader in many segments and geographies.

As Microsoft developed 365 Business, Nethercoat told CRN that Tech Data developed its connection into the vendor's end point, and completed its work in record time. The combined offering will be available to Microsoft partners by the fall through StreamOne, Tech Data's cloud aggregation, management and billing platform.

Integrating Microsoft 365 Business with Tech Data's small business cloud server will make it easier for channel partners and end users to move into the cloud rather than replace old hardware, Nethercoat said. Prior to the launch of 365 Business, Nethercoat said partners had to stitch Microsoft's Office 365, mobility and security capabilities together on their own.

Combining Microsoft 365 Business with Tech Data's cloud server will provide channel partners with more ongoing control and management over Windows Server 2016, Active Directory, and the Intune cloud-based management offering, Nethercoat said. This will make it easier for MSPs to manage the Microsoft environment, devices and data of their end-user clients, according to Nethercoat.

Tech Data's offering will also help facilitate connections between the Microsoft Office suite and third-party vendors, Honarmand said, with applications from such suppliers as Sage running on the distributor's small business cloud server and enjoying a connection to Office 365.

The integrated offering will benefit a wide range of channel partners that are responsible for either deploying instances of Office 365 or rolling out servers, Honarmand said. Nethercoat expects the joint offering to grow rapidly since it pulls together a complete, secure solution.

"The vast majority of our VARs would benefit from this," Honarmand said. "It can be a pretty good opportunity for VARs to upsell security into an Office 365 environment."

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