Tech Data Beefs Up Microsoft Cloud Play With 365 Command


Tech Data Tuesday bolstered its cloud applications push by teaming up with MessageOps to offer 365 Command, a cloud-hosted enablement tool for Office 365.

Tech Data will offer 365 Command via its TDCloud business unit to VAR customers. Champion Solutions Group, which acquired MessageOps last November,
extended 365 Command to other VARs earlier this year .

The management tool uses a Web-based portal that gives VARs additional reporting, monitoring and adminstrative control for Office 365 accounts. Bharath Natarajan, director of Tech Data's TDCloud and software services, said 365 Command will help solution providers with clients using Microsoft Office 365 to migrate from an on premise Exchange server to hosted Exchange server.

[Related: Microsoft Opens Office 365 Licensing Program To Partners That Sell To Enterprises]

"The biggest thing is where the industry is going right now, almost everybody is changing from an on premise [email] to Office 365," said Natarajan. "This product changes the dynamic in which you to need to manage those accounts and allows email systems to move to the cloud in a scalable way."

MessageOps said 365 Command is currently managing more than 850,000 mailboxes from almost 2,000 clients worldwide. The company said it has more than 100 resellers offering 365 Command as well.

Natarajan believes moving to the cloud for email is equally beneficial and important in regards to cost and available space.

"Email has become far more pervasive historically. With the data being transferred just in our conversations, we have so many threads of emails," said Natarajan. "Combining that with compliance requirements to archive for several years means email is getting expensive to do locally because you need to buy new disc space every year."

According to Natarajan, this platform is essentially a single portal that enables and allows users to access multiple email administrative and user accounts, all at once.

"What happens is that a user manages email accounts from a central place rather then having to go through an exchange service individually," said Natarajan. "Say somebody has left on maternity leave or left the company, 365 Command reallocates and reassigns that email address to forward that email to their boss. With a couple of mouse clicks, it's all hosted and you can access it anywhere."

Currently, Tech Data is the only distributor to provide 365 Command to resellers, said Natarajan. Stephen Hall, CEO of D.C-based District Computers, said he looks forward to implementing 365 Command to clients.

"If you look at the growth of Office 365 and the channel perspective, the adoption is growing immensely and 365 command will automate a lot of tasks that allows businesses to do relatively," said Hall. "We get to do a lot of things faster with 365 Command; higher probability and our customers get a faster response, so you're looking at a significant time savings and cost savings."

With the momentum of cloud email, MSPs will be able to benefit from 365 Command, said Natarajan.

"The opportunity is vast, and to capture that with an application is the sweet spot you want to be in," said Natarajan. "If our partners lives are easier and if they are actually able to source more product, or deploy resources to getting more business, that's great for us because they will drag that through the channel."

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