The big product news for SMB-focused tech players out of Microsoft’s just concluded Inspire partner conference was the launch of the new Microsoft 365 Business suite, which combines Office 365, management and security elements from Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (aka EMS) offering, and upgrade rights to Windows 10. Here’s what five big-time Microsoft partners with extensive experience in the cloud have to say about the new offering.
Spoiler alert: in different ways and for different reasons, their first impressions are all appreciative ones.
Microsoft 365 inspired a strong case of love at first sight for distributor Tech Data Corp., which first got word of the forthcoming product bundle during a visit to Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus in April. Offered a chance to bundle the system with its Small Business Cloud Server network-in-a-box product, the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor jumped at the chance, and somehow managed to get a fully functioning demo of the combined offering ready in time for Inspire this week.
According to Stacy Nethercoat, vice president for cloud in the Americas at Tech Data, Microsoft 365 bears a close resemblance to Small Business Cloud Server in that it makes acquiring products long sold separately significantly easier.
“A partner could have put that together in the past, but they would have to put it together,” she says. “What Microsoft has done is bring to market a complete solution.”
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