Intermedia Sees Rapid Growth Of Hosted Exchange Service Through Ingram Micro

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More than 750 solution providers have signed up to carry Intermedia's hosted Microsoft Exchange service through Ingram Micro Seismic under Intermedia's year-old alliance with the distributor.

Sales through Ingram Micro have been growing 67 percent quarter-over-quarter since Intermedia teamed with the distributor in October 2009, according to Intermedia.

Intermedia's channel sales overall are growing 12 percent a quarter and already account for more than 50 percent of the company's business, said Robert Leibholz, senior vice president of sales and business development, in an interview. "The channel side has been vastly successful for us," he said.

Intermedia, which also hosts Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Office Communication Service and Dynamics CRM applications, launched its channel program in July 2006 and now has nearly 6,000 resellers.

"I know there's a recession because I read about it, but I'm not feeling it," Leibholz said of the company's growing channel sales. Direct sales of the company's services are "stable" and growing, but more slowly than sales through resellers, he said.

Intermedia's rapidly growing sales through Ingram are also good news for the distributor's efforts to build up its managed services offerings. In an interview with CRN last month Ingram CEO Spierkel said the Seismic service operation is profitable, although he did not disclose details.

This week Ingram Micro gave Intermedia its Services Award of Excellence for 2010, announcing the award at the distributor's annual marketing symposium in Anaheim, Calif.

"Their resellers are very committed, very loyal to Ingram," Leibholz said. As for Intermedia's hosted Exchange services, he said they are popular because solution providers can put their own brand on the service and own the relationship with the customer.

Leibholz contrasted that approach with Microsoft's hosted Office 365 service, recently renamed from Business Productivity Online Suite or BPOS. Microsoft partners provide referrals for that service rather than actually resell it. Intermedia's approach, he said, "is a much better deal for the partners who want to grow their business."

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