Microsoft Announces Go-To-Market Program for Hosting Providers
July 14, 2009
Microsoft Communication Services provides marketing guidance and collateral, making it easier to sell solutions to SMB customers.

NEW ORLEANS — July 14, 2009 — Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (WPC09), Microsoft Corp. announced the global availability of Microsoft Communication Services, a partner program to help hosting providers and their resellers market hosted unified communications to small and midsize business (SMB) customers. Microsoft Communication Services provides a common set of marketing collateral and the ability to utilize the Microsoft brand beyond individual product brands for better recognition in the SMB marketplace. The initiative is open to Microsoft partners that have attained the Hosting Solutions competency, part of the broader Microsoft Partner Network. John Zanni, general manager of the Worldwide Software plus Services Industry team for the Communications Sector at Microsoft, will outline Microsoft Communication Services and its benefits to hosting providers and their resellers in a software-plus-services breakout session today titled “Bringing It All Together Across MS Online Services, Partner Hosted and Windows Azure.”

“SMBs are increasingly interested in communication and collaboration tools to improve productivity and reduce costs,” Zanni said. “The majority of customers in the SMB segment want to purchase Microsoft Hosted Exchange and Microsoft Office Communications Server services from companies that package these offerings. With Microsoft Communication Services, hosting providers and their resellers are speaking the language of their customers.”

Microsoft Communication Services was designed with Comcast, the leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services in the U.S., to help enable service providers to offer higher-margin services, create customer loyalty and become a trusted advisor. Collateral and guidance focuses on marketing a solution of collaborative hosted services, including hosted Microsoft Exchange Server, Hosted Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Live Meeting. Microsoft-branded collateral includes demo videos, marketing guidance and telesales scripts.

Also, today Microsoft announced that Outsourcery Ltd. (formerly Genesis Communications Ltd.), a U.K. hosting and communications provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, will use Microsoft Communication Services in the United Kingdom, enabling it to better market Microsoft-branded solution bundles to its customers.

“Outsourcery is delighted to be involved in the launch of Microsoft Communication Services to U.K. SMBs,” said Mark Seemann, Product Strategy Director at Outsourcery. “We’ve found that the Microsoft brand name resonates very well with our SMB customers, and that Microsoft Communication Services allows us to talk about entire solutions rather than just individual products. This alliance is totally aligned with our business strategy to become Europe’s No. 1 outsourced IT and unified communications provider for Microsoft-hosted solutions.”

Microsoft and Comcast piloted the program in November 2007, helping Comcast market business-class e-mail, calendaring and document sharing to its SMB customers. To date, Comcast has more than 100,000 e-mail users on Microsoft Hosted Exchange. Based on the success of the pilot for Comcast and its customers, Microsoft will now offer Microsoft Communication Services worldwide to all its hosting partners.

“Microsoft Communication Services from Comcast is an integral part of our Business Class Internet service and truly differentiates us from our competition,” said Bill Stemper, President, Comcast Business Services. “Not only does it help small-business owners be more productive but it also helps them save money by dramatically reducing their need for communication servers and IT support.”

More information on Microsoft Communication Services is available at http://partner.microsoft.com/communicationservices. Information on how to find a certified hosting partner is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hosting/catalogs/reseller/private-label-hosting.mspx. More information about announcements at WPC is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/wwpc/default.aspx. More information on Outsourcery is available at http://www.outsourcery.co.uk. More information on Comcast is available at http://business.comcast.com/internet/business-tools.aspx.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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