IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

CloudPlus Launches Office 365 Partner Recruitment Drive

Called Project Domination and targeted at members of Microsoft’s soon-to-be-retired Online Services Advisor program, the campaign offers up to 90 days of free Office 365 service, plus free support. By Rich Freeman

Click-to-provision online services provider CloudPlus has launched a new initiative targeted at enrollees in Microsoft’s Office 365 Online Services Advisor (OSA) program.

Named Project Domination, the campaign includes up to 90 days of free Office 365 service and free 24x7x365 support.

Under the OSA, customers who buy Office 365 licenses directly from Microsoft can identify a reseller as their “partner of record” during the signup process. The customer gets their bill and support directly from Microsoft, and the reseller collects a small portion of the subscription fees.

Microsoft began closing down the OSA last October, and will terminate it completely at the end of the month. Starting July 1, then, the only way for OSA members to continue receiving commissions on Office 365 accounts is to transfer their customers to a vendor authorized to distribute Office 365 seats via Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider program.

CloudPlus, of Clearwater, Fla., is one of numerous such vendors vying to attract OSA resellers, a list that includes cloud service providers like SherWeb Inc. and AppRiver LLC and broadline distributors such as Ingram Micro Inc. and Tech Data Corp. Project Domination is its effort to gain an edge in that competition by highlighting what CloudPlus says are capabilities only it offers.

Those include the ability to reduce overhead and boost profits by enabling clients interested in doing so to manage their own Office 365 account.

“If the partner wants to be completely hands off and let the customer self-administrate, our customer-facing control panel allows the customer to self-administrate and the partner still gets paid,” says CloudPlus president and CEO Tony Francisco.

That same control panel also lets partners provide single sign-on access to an online catalog containing dozens of solutions beyond Office 365, Francisco continues, noting that the company is currently in the process of adding 22 more. Customers pay for all the services they consume on a single, white label invoice.

“We’re allowing a partner to truly own a customer and all the services associated with the customer,” Francisco says.

“That’s the future of the MSP business,” he continues. Channel pros who wish to remain profitable must aspire to deliver as many of an end user’s IT services as possible in as efficient a manner as possible.

Though it’s not the only vendor capable of doing so, CloudPlus can also take control of an Office 365 subscription purchased directly from Microsoft without requiring the customer to cancel their existing subscription and open a new one manually. Its provisioning process includes automated DNS validation as well.

CloudPlus joined Microsoft’s elite circle of Cloud Solution Provider program distributors last October, and began selling Office 365 suites the next month.

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