Microsoft Software Plus Services will be available to UK partners sometime during spring 2009, said the company’s Software plus Services reselling exec Maggie Chan Jones.
This is exciting for me as a UK Microsoft Gold Partner and I hope for you as a potential customer. Over at this year’s Partner Conference (WPC), there was a LOT of talk about Software plus Services, and it was a hot topic again today in London.
Software plus Services (S+S) is Microsoft’s version of SAAS (Software As A Service). The main difference is SAAS indicates that it replaces traditional “on the desktop” software while S+S complements it. The most well known examlpe of SAAS is salesforce.com, a complete CRM (Customer Relations Management) system that sits in the “Cloud”, so is all accessed via a web interface and not installed on the clients internal PC’s and servers.
This goes against Microsoft’s typical business model and so many people have announced the “end of Microsoft”, which seems a bit over the top to me! I’m sure it’s true that Microsoft wouldn’t have come up with SAAS on their own and in fact, in Houston this year, Microsoft called it “a disruption”..but one that they will meet and embrace.
The Software Plus Services line up includes:
Microsoft Exchange Online
Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services
Microsoft Office Sharepoint Online
Microsoft Office Live Meeting
Microsoft Office Communications Online
Most of these are available as Beta versions in the U.S at the moment.
Bechtle UK are a leading Microsoft Gold Partner and our MS business is built upon “on-premise” software that is installed into the customer’s environment; so S+S is very different to what we’re used to. I think it’s safe to say that some people were unsure about S+S/SAAS a while back but now, we’re all excited about the opportunity and ready to go!
S+S will make it easier for customers whose software budgets can’t stretch to the purchase of a company wide setup ofSharepoint or OCS for example. With the advent of S+S, they’ll be able to utilise the software and experience it’s countless benefits to efficiency and productivity at a price that will be more affordable and easier to manage for them.