HyperOffice Waging Cloud Computing Channel War With Google, Microsoft

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To better take on its cloud computing software rivals HyperOffice plans to turn its attention to the channel heavily in 2011 and is ramping up a strong recruitment push to break free of its old sales model, which historically was direct. While the channel program officially launched earlier this year, this will be the first full-fledged partner recruitment push for HyperOffice since the company launched in 1998, said Shahab Kaviani, HyperOffice executive vice president of marketing and product marketing.

"We've been doing it slow to make sure our ducks are in a row on the back end. We want to do this right," Kaviani said, adding HyperOffice's competition with Google and Microsoft is a true David vs. Goliath story.

HyperOffice will give partners standard benefits like marketing and e-mail templates, on-boarding and tech training and a reseller console. But there are key differences that separate HyperOffice's channel program from Google's and Microsoft's around their respective cloud computing offerings that give HyperOffice and edge, Kaviani said.

HyperOffice offers a full suite of online, or cloud-based, business collaboration tools including e-mail, document management, calendaring, task manager, Intranet and other capabilities. HyperOffice also recently upgraded and bulked up its online project management capabilities and in the next few months will unveil new e-mail archiving features, Kaviani said.

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Like Google and Microsoft, HyperOffice partners will have the ability to offer support and consulting services to boost earnings potential, but HyperOffice estimates a 55 percent margin, versus Google Apps' 25 percent and Microsoft 365's estimated 18 percent. HyperOffice VARs buy licenses for $5 each and can sell them for $10 to $15 per users, Kaviani said.

Kaviani said HyperOffice is looking to round up about 150 solid partners -- a mix of VARs and MSPs -- come late 2011.

Additionally, HyperOffice VARs can white label their cloud-based offerings, a capability not available to Google and Microsoft cloud VARs. And like Google, HyperOffice lets its VARs own the customer and billing relationship; Microsoft does not.

"We're also specifically tailored for the small business," Kaviani said, adding that it targets companies with five to 100 seats with 25 to 50 seats being the sweet spot.