I’m beginning to get up to speed what will be offered via Microsoft Online Services here in Australia.
Microsoft has created a site www.discoveronlineservices.com which has a huge amount of information and resources about the offerings. If you are a Microsoft partner and you are considering offering online services then you should take a look. Even if you aren’t then I still recommend you take a look to understand the huge investment that Microsoft is making in this area.
Microsoft Online Services will be offered here through Telstra (Why? Not a good idea I reckon but that’s the way it is) and you can find more information of this via the Telstra T-Suite site. Interestingly, I can’t find any links to actual pricing here (early days perhaps?) Given that T-Suite has been around for a while you will find the pricing elsewhere in the T-Suite store site.
Microsoft Online Services is still in its infancy here but can only be expected to grow once the dual marketing monoliths of Telstra and Microsoft get going. A recent webinar I attended certainly indicated that Microsoft expected the greatest uptake of the service to be in the 5-50 user seat arena, in other words prime SBS territory. We are also starting to see documents like “Integrating Windows Small Business Server 2008 with Exchange Online”, which confirm the push for online services in the SMB space.
As I have said before (almost 12 months ago now), SBS 2008, I believe, will be the very last version of Small Business Server. Why? I simply believe that online services in some shape or form is going to gobble up the SMB market and the primary reason doesn’t have anything to do with technology or security. In fact it is all about price. Mainly around the ability to pay per month, per user.
Like it or lump it online services are going to have an impact on the SMB market and I reckon now is the time to get in early and be ahead of the pack.