Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Low-Down on BPOS - Next Cloud Services Roundtable

So let's lay our cards on the Round Table: Microsoft's BPOS - Business Productivity Online Suite - has not been well received by the consultant/reseller community.

There are two obvious reasons for this. First, Microsoft spent more than a decade befriending us (VARs/VAPs/Partners), and then decided to sell against us directly with our existing clients. Second, the program originally had very low margins.

The issue of margins is pretty well taken care of. While many of us manage to get 20-25% on licenses and OEM versions, the 18% margin on BPOS is in line with many software sales. It is certainly not out of line. Perhaps the biggest lingering problem here is the continuing perception that the margins are too small without regard to what the current policies are.

The bigger issue is one of positioning Microsoft as working with partners instead of against them. This might be alleviated with good margins and assurances that Microsoft will not simply take their clients and leave the partner with nothing.

Well . . . it's been a couple years now. BPOS is finding traction among some specific resellers out there. Interestingly enough, these folks are not the traditional SMB / MSP resellers. They're making headway with small biz clients and making a decent (18%) profit along the way.

Now comes the cloud. Now comes virtualization, cloud-based backups, hosted services, and smaller servers in the client office.

The recession drags on, with a few rays of hope shining through. Many clients have put off upgrades, or closed their rented offices and gone to their home offices. Many of these people won't be back any time soon. At the same time, new businesses are still being born every day. And many of these new businesses are totally without an office. They are virtual offices that will never own a server.

Some kind of "hosted" office suite makes sense for them.

Given all this, it's a great time to look at what BPOS is up to. What are they really offering us? And is there a plan beyond simply deploying today without a thought for the future?

Join us February 17th for the next Cloud Services Roundtable. We'll talk to the BPOS team and see how many of these questions we can get answered in 60 minutes.

Trust me . . . this is NOT just another opportunity for the MS sales team to show the same slide deck for the 1,000th time. This is an audio program. And the deal was pretty clear: They get to speak to an audience that has NOT been selling their product and has a certain level of suspicion.

Microsoft is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to the office suite. Google, Open Office, Wordperfect, and a handful of lesser products are still organ grinder monkeys compared to Microsoft. But the monkeys are eating right and taking their vitamins. So Microsoft needs to pay attention to this market.

It should be a great show.

Broadcast is scheduled for
Wed. Feb. 17th
9:00 AM Pacific

Register now at:

Or check out the whole Cloud Services Roundtable and Register There

Join us for a great show!


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