Intermedia Offers First and Only Hosted Exchange 2010
Channel Insider, 12/8/09
For now, Intermedia is the sole source for hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010. And it’s pressing that advantage to its full benefit by creating a private-label reseller program for its channel partners that offers infrastructure, speed of deployment and protections against service disruptions.
Hosted Exchange 2010 is expected to be one of the best sellers coming out of the Microsoft stable this year and into the first half of next year. According to a survey of IT decision makers commissioned by Intermedia and conducted by Osterman Research, nearly 50 percent of businesses are running Exchange 2003 or older versions. Of those surveyed, 65 percent of IT decision makers are eagerly awaiting new features and performance improvements in Exchange 2010, and plan to deploy the new platform within the next six months.
The Intermedia Exchange 2010 offering is impressive, given that it provides its resellers with access to a hot cloud-based application without the expense of building infrastructure for hosting and supporting numerous clients. The company built a special platform just for Exchange 2010 to ensure reliability. And, the private-label Exchange 2010 program is coupled with the existing referral program through which partners can earn money by selling Intermedia’s other hosted services—SharePoint, Communications Server, Exchange 2007.
Speed of adoption is one of the reasons Ingram Micro’s Seismic program is supporting the Intermedia private-label program. As Ingram’s Jason Beal said in a statement, “We see an increasing sales growth opportunity for our channel partners who sell hosted Exchange 2010 and are pleased to be working so closely with Intermedia to bring this technology to market so quickly.”
But if this is such a rich and rapid opportunity, is there a benefit in working with a hosting provider such as Intermedia, or is it more advantageous for solution providers to build their own capacity and deliver it independently?
Intermedia makes the value to solution providers clear: faster benefit, lower risk. Rather than having to make the investment in expensive servers and integrating Exchange for service delivery, Intermedia makes the service practically plug-and-play. Additionally, Intermedia assumes the costs of monitoring and maintaining the infrastructure. Both are good value propositions for solution providers, who often can’t afford the initial capital outlay for infrastructure.
However, the world is increasingly turning to hosted services as an alternative to expensive on-premises solutions. Many solution providers are circumventing the two- and three-tier channels for hosted services by building their own data centers or pooling resources with peers to build their own services offerings. They assume more risk this way, but they capture more of the reward.
So, in this context, is it better to build, buy or partner in the delivery of hosted Exchange services?