Last February, Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise became available for the first time as a preconfigured offering that could be self-provisioned in the cloud. Only it wasn't Microsoft's cloud.
The Amazon Web Services Marketplace is now the only source from which businesses can quickly fire up, with Software-as-a-Service provisioning and billing, the Enterprise edition of Microsoft's popular collaboration and document management platform. That's due to the work of Data Resolution, a solution provider from the California town of San Juan Capistrano that executed the integration and offers management, monitoring and support to users.
Data Resolution is a niche hosting provider that offers managed services to customers, and partners with both AWS and Microsoft on several fronts, especially involving the Microsoft Dynamics stack.
Data Resolution CEO James Pathman told CRN the genesis of the SharePoint Enterprise project was a conversation he had last year with AWS executives, who told him they were getting requests for SharePoint Enterprise that were going unfulfilled.
"We had developed a relationship with AWS, and they had mentioned to us there's nobody who's able to provide the SharePoint Enterprise solution across AWS," Pathman said. "As we looked around, there's really nobody in the public cloud that was offering any SharePoint Enterprise solution. Even in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, you can't buy it."
While Microsoft includes SharePoint in its Office 365 cloud-based office productivity suite, that's only the Standard edition of the platform.
And there's a significant difference between Standard and Enterprise, Pathman told CRN.
"The Enterprise version is Internet-facing," he explained, "rather than intranet-facing."
Companies running SharePoint Enterprise can grant external users access to the platform, such as partners and customers who don't have Active Directory credentials, Pathman said. Because Office 365 requires credentials for every user that logs in, its version of SharePoint can't do the same.
"A lot of companies built infrastructure, web pages, workflows around SharePoint Enterprise," Pathman said. They want to allow some outsiders to access those.