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Partner: Tool Targets 3 Problems with Large Migrations to Office 365

A year after launching an Office 365 migration project automation tool for Microsoft partners, SkyKick this week released an enterprise version to help the channel move larger customers to Microsoft's cloud productivity suite.

The two-time Microsoft Partner of the Year Award-winning startup, launched by former Microsoft employees, released its SkyKick Application Suite in April 2013 with the idea of automating most of the tasks involved in migrating smaller customers from on-premises or other cloud e-mail systems onto Office 365. The original product design focused on the SMB customers that represent the sweet spot of Office 365 adoption, with SkyKick's business case scenarios centering on deployments with about 25 users. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM0 comments


Microsoft Surface: Third Time's the Charm?

Microsoft will hold a press event in New York City on Tuesday for a Surface announcement that is rumored to include the unveiling of a "Surface Mini" and a new Intel-based Surface Pro.

The limited-seating event begins at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, and those who want to follow along will be able to join a live webcast at the Microsoft News Center. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 19, 2014 at 12:24 PM0 comments


Lync App Arrives for Android Tablets

Microsoft this week released a Lync app that supports Android tablets, closing the one large remaining hole in the unified communications platform's mobile device coverage.

Lync apps were already available for Android phones, as well as for iPads, iPhones, Windows 8.1 devices and Windows Phones. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM0 comments


Kaseya Upgrades Partner Program

Kaseya on Thursday rolled out a major update to its partner program.

The midmarket-focused systems management company counts managed service providers as a major part of its customer base, but the enhancements to the Kaseya Partner Program apply to a different group of partners. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 08, 2014 at 1:24 PM0 comments


Competencies, Bigger Incentives for Symantec Partners

At its Vision conference this week, Symantec unveiled updates to the Symantec Partner Program, including more than a dozen new solution competencies and incentives tied to those competencies.

The changes deliver on a previously announced overhaul to the Symantec Partner Program, which focuses on a two-tier competency structure -- a lower-level Principal Competency and a higher-level Expert Competency. The competencies will replace the solution specializations Symantec previously had in place. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 07, 2014 at 9:46 AM0 comments


CEO Offers Full-Throated Defense of the Channel

Continuum CEO Michael George is offering a full-throated argument for the channel in the cloud era.

George posted a video message this week on the Continuum Web site to promote its new Continuum Cloud Console, or C3, service for managing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on behalf of customers (see previous RCP coverage here). More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 07, 2014 at 9:07 AM0 comments


Gates Drops Below Ballmer in MSFT Ownership

In last month's issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, we looked at the interesting times ahead for the Microsoft Board of Directors.

The upshot was that while Bill Gates kept a firm grip on control of the company for decades, his relinquishment of the chairman's role and the addition of some strong personalities to the board could lead to a rocky future. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 05, 2014 at 11:51 AM0 comments


StorageCraft Updates Partner Portal

StorageCraft Technology Corp. recently overhauled its portal for managed service provider partners.

The new StorageCraft MSP Portal is part of the StorageCraft Profit-Ability Partner Program and includes user interface enhancements, as well as new tools for MSPs to manage StorageCraft licenses through an Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface or other tablet. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 05, 2014 at 11:27 AM0 comments


Continuum Adds IaaS Management to RMM Tool

A prominent remote monitoring and management (RMM) provider is taking a first step toward packaging Infrastructure as a Service to make IaaS friendlier for SMB customers and easier for MSPs to deploy and manage.

Continuum this week launched Continuum Cloud Console, or C3. Billed as an IaaS management platform, C3 is delivered as a tab in Boston-based Continuum's SaaS-based RMM system. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 01, 2014 at 12:53 PM0 comments


Deadline Approaching for RCP Rocket Awards

It's getting to be that time of year again -- for RCP Rocket Award submissions.

Have a great growth story? You've got a little over a month until the June 1 submissions deadline to send us the details. We're looking for a one- to two-page description of the innovative business strategies you've used that have resulted in sustained growth over a three-year period.

The 2014 award is open to all U.S.-based IT services companies with annual revenues between $5 million and $75 million. Click here for more contest details or e-mail me with your questions. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM0 comments


Apple Earnings: Sizing the Office for iPad Opportunity

A good portion of the Microsoft channel is already involved with management, integration and app development for the Apple iOS ecosystem.

With the rollout of the long-awaited Office for iPad in late March, Microsoft finally created a clear bridge for its partners between the Microsoft world that they know well and the huge customer demand for business apps on the world's most dominant tablet. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM0 comments


Microsoft Offers Partners SureStep into Cloud

Microsoft on Monday unveiled the latest results of its eternal tinkering with the machinery designed to get partners selling cloud.

In a blog post, Thomas Hansen, vice president of Small and Medium Business for Microsoft Worldwide SMS&P, revealed Cloud SureStep, a business advice and tools program with three pillars based on the maturity level of a partner's cloud business. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM0 comments