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On the morning of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 in Los Angeles, CA, I reflect on our past year of partnership with Microsoft and how much has changed in such a short time. In 12 months, Fully Managed® has doubled (actually 2.5x) in size, expanded our Western Canadian presence to both Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB and relocated our headquarters to a new custom-designed facility to support our core purpose of Creating Peace of Mind. We have improved on all our key client-facing metrics, including service level and overall experience. We have added phenomenal new team members to support our growth, and overhauled many of our key processes to drive our core values and brand promise. One thing is certain, we are just getting started and I'm confident that the next 12 months will be even more incredible. Having a big vision is important, but having the team to execute on that vision is critical (which we do). I am inspired and humbled to be a part of it. Now, some thoughts on what we've seen and can expect from Microsoft moving forward.
Last year, as I presented on "Winning the Cloud" at WPC 2010 in Washington, DC, many partners were looking at BPOS / Microsoft Online Services and scratching their heads wondering how they could make this into a real business opportunity. Neither Office 365 nor Windows Intune were generally available at this time. I was met with significant skepticism, even though the year prior at WPC 2009 in New Orleans this story was already percolating for many successful Microsoft partners. One thing I think is clear at this point is that not only is cloud a viable solution for many SMBs, but in fact a preferred one. Office 365 is going to take SMB by storm, and the reasons are simple: access the latest and greatest Microsoft technology for a minimal monthly fee, no up front capital investment and never buy another server. Ask a business owner if they'd rather purchase a bunch of servers (and repeat again in 3-5 years), or subscribe to a service far more reliable than what they can afford to purchase. Which do you think 9 out of 10 go for?
Although we were hugely successful in moving a huge number of clients to the cloud last year, and that trend has continued, Microsoft's cloud offerings were no longer near as attractive or mature last year as they are now with the recent release of both Office 365 and Windows Intune. We have entered an era where mass market adoption is imminent and we see a large percentage of our clients moving to Office 365 within 18 months. The more commodity infrastructure we can move to the cloud, at a lower total cost of ownership that on premise, the more budget our clients have available to spend on more strategic initiatives.
Our plan is simple: give our clients the ability to collaborate better, run leaner, inspire their staff, reduce technology issues, and quite simply experience a zen state when sitting down with their computer or while on the road with a mobile device. Office 365 is a means to that end, and we'll be putting a lot of effort to show how fun business gets when you have such a robust and inspiring platform on which your team can collaborate.
If you are a Microsoft partner and attending the WPC 2011 conference, I will be presenting at Cross and Upselling Cloud: Windows Intune and Office 365 (CLD15) on Wednesday at 4:00-5:30 PM. Myself and other leading Microsoft partners from around the world will be be presenting on the market opportunity for Microsoft partners with Office 365 and Windows Intune.