Microsoft Adds Online Services For Partners

Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and Connected Services Framework will be offered to private label software distributors.
As part of its efforts to reassure channel partners that they still have a role to play at a time when many software companies are selling their products directly over the Internet or as hosted services, Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it's increasing the selection of Web-based offerings it makes available for sale by resellers.

Microsoft said it's offering its Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and its Connected Services Framework to private label software distributors, who in turn can create customized hosting environments for resellers and independent software developers.

Among the first distributors to take advantage of the new offerings is Smarthost Sweden AB -- one of Europe's fastest growing software-plus-services distributors. Using the Connected Services Framework, Smarthost and its partners plan to create online service catalogs for various, vertical market segments.

"We have a mission to continuously broaden and improve our portfolio of services, regardless of whether it's targeted at resellers or their end consumers," said Smarthost CEO Michael Wicander, in a statement.

Also tapping Microsoft's hosted offerings is Groupspark, another provider of online software services to resellers. Groupspark has deployed the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging so that its customers, including resellers and other partners, can launch hosted services for their end users without having to build out their own hosting infrastructures.

"Traditional IT resellers don't need to be left behind in a service-based delivery world," said Ravi Argawal, founder and senior executive officer at Groupspark, in a statement.

Also Tuesday, Microsoft launched its Communications Sector Partner Community -- an online forum where resellers serving the communications industry can exchange ideas and technical information.

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