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What MSPs Can Learn from the Microsoft-Skype Deal

When you hear about an $8.5 billion megadeal such as Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype, the benefits to the small business segment might not be immediately clear.

Yet when you consider that Skype has approximately 600 million customers and that Redmond has a vast network of value-added resellers and managed service providers working in a Windows architecture, the trickle-down opportunities become about as clear as Skyping through a fully dedicated T1. What the deal ushers in is the opportunity for MSPs to work with Microsoft to package teleconference services and tailored cloud video apps that could create lasting value for SMBs.

As Vu TelePresence CEO Devita Saraf explains, the deal announcement and the potential to shake up both the enterprise and SMB IT processing arena, shine a light on the ”businesses benefit of telepresence.”

Many small businesses already use Skype to save money on travel and save time on e-mail and as Saraf points out, teleconferencing is nothing new. But up until this acquisition, a sustainable telepresence that can be managed remotely and monitored by a third-party MSP that can act as an in-house IT function for MSP was cost prohibitive and even maybe a pipe dream.

While software-as-a-service has been a boon for many MSPs, Forrester Research points out that unified-communications-as-a-service could very well be the next big thing.

MSPs may do well to watch how this deal shakes out, how Redmond integrates Skype and ultimately how UC architecture can be sold through to SMBs.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on May 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM


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