Intermedia Challenges Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 To Cloud Channel Duel

Intermedia, a Microsoft and Hosted Exchange Partner its Private Label cloud partner program

New York-based Intermedia laid down the gauntlet in a comparison chart on its Web site, which examines the ins and outs of its Private Label cloud partner program vs. Google Apps' and Microsoft Office 365's channel offerings. Intermedia's Private Label program is for partners who resell the company's hosted services, including PBX and Exchange e-mail services, packaged under their own brand.

What sets Intermedia apart from the pack, said Chief Marketing Officer Manlio Carrelli, is that Intermedia's partners handle customer billing, have control over pricing and are responsible for first-line support.

"The primary reason [Intermedia beats Google Apps and Office 365] is around ownership of customer billing and pricing," he said. Carrelli noted that customer and billing ownership is a major concern for solution providers. "When you own the billing, you own the customer relationship."

Carrelli added: "If you're not the one sending the bill, you're not the one making that sticky cloud relationship."

Sponsored post

Additionally, Intermedia's Private Label program lets VARs price services as they please and dictate their margin, which often exceeds 40 percent. That, coupled with the ability to bundle in services from Intermedia, Microsoft and their own third-party services gives Private Label partners a major boost, Carrelli said.

"When you don't own the billing, you can't do any of that," he said.

Intermedia also adds the ability to for VARs and MSPs to brand their own offerings. VARs and MSPs can brand control panels and extend user controls via branded wares, all deepening the customer relationship, Carrelli said. On top of that, VARs and MSPs get tech support, sales support and migration support, he added.

Intermedia has been adding a couple hundred partners per month into its Private Label program, and partners are bundling services for the SMB offering front-line support, for which they can bill, with Intermedia in the background with level two support if necessary.

Carrelli said Intermedia hopes to both woo partners away from Microsoft and Google, while also becoming the first choice in the cloud space.

Intermedia's cloud push comes on the heels of its June acquisition of Zlago, a provider of cloud services including Software-as-a-Service applications and hosted desktops. Intermedia was acquired by venture capital firm Oak Hill Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum in May.