Ingram Launches SaaS For Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint

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Ingram Micro is offering three new software-as-a-service (Saas) offerings from Microsoft through its Seismic program.

The offerings include Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and 2003, and Windows SharePoint 3.0. In addition, Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro plans to launch a fourth-on-demand solution in May around Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

All the offerings are delivered through Ingram's Seismic Virtual Services Warehouse and can be private labeled by solution providers, said Justin Crotty, vice president of Ingram Micro's Services Division, North America.

"We do a lot of Exchange licensing on the core side of Ingram Micro, a huge Microsoft business across the board. It's an interesting evolution in our Microsoft relationship," Crotty said. "The market demand is good for managed Exchange right now. We've had a lot of requests for it since Seismic was brought to market."

There's been much speculation regarding Microsoft's own managed services strategy, but channel MSP providers such as Ingram Micro aren't waiting for Microsoft. This week, N-able Technologies also launched a program for Microsoft solution providers. The demand is high enough that it creates a need to act quickly and proactively, Crotty said. It's also unclear what role the channel would have in a Microsoft strategy.

"I think there's been a lot of talk about what Microsoft will do in this space down the road. We've not heard the last of them as a provider," he said. "The good news is this gives the VAR private label capability for the offering. They can put it under their own name. The pricing is dynamite. It's competitive and VARs can add it to their line card. Microsoft will make a good decision for Microsoft. Hopefully they'll make a good decision for the channel too.

Microsoft becomes the 13th vendor to have an offering in Seismic, according to Ingram Micro. Other services include the Seismic Hosted RMM, Print Monitoring and Management, Online Backup and Restore, E-mail and Web Defense, Network Operations Center (NOC), Hosted Professional Services Automation (PSA), Remote Support, Threat Manager, Log Manager and Help Desk.

"The overarching strategy is providing services that allow a reseller to offer a robust, best-in-class capabilities without the related infrastructure investments or up front investments normally required to sell these types of things," Crotty said. "Overall, as we build out additional offerings, we're looking for capabilities that VARs are asking about for customers."

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