- South African SMB moves from on-premise to Office 365
- Office 365 integrates domain registration with GoDaddy partnership
- Office 365 wins global enterprise customer; interesting selling point
Summary: Parallels recently added a new Windows Azure Pack for hosters and service providers in addition to updating a number of Microsoft-based infrastructure services supported on its platform.
Windows Azure Pack: Parallels worked with Microsoft to build a new module – Windows Azure Pack – that enables hosters to deliver cloud infrastructure based on the technology underlying the Windows Azure cloud. Parallels has automated the deployment and management of these services for hosters and basically allows them to literally turn on a cloud infrastructure service without investing heavily in product development. The module is ideal for smaller hosters.
Other products: Parallels also added a Microsoft Lync Hosting Pack to equip hosters with the ability to offer hosted web conferencing. Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange were updated as well with the Exchange product adding support for the 2013 version.
Data points: Parallels disclosed some very useful data points. For Lync, Parallels noted that its partners have tripled Lync seats in the past year. For Exchange, Parallels shared two data points: 1) Parallels Exchange partners are growing at over 40% y/y (not disclosed wether this is a seat or revenue number; but we assume it is seats); and 2) Parallels partners host over 750 Exchange seats globally across 75 providers.
Angle: This latest development, needless to say, is about service enablement. Lync is expected but the interesting one is Azure cloud. The Azure capability could be a fit for smaller hosters that are not yet offering cloud. Going the Azure route, versus say something like OpenStack or a third party technology, would be about taking advantage of integration with the platform, which solves the issues of provisioning, management and billing quite nicely. Other cloud infrastructure technology platforms would require a lot more integration work in comparison. For smaller hosters that would be an important consideration.
*Disclosure: Parallels and Microsoft are Structure Research subscribers.