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Memo From Microsoft: Cloud PBX Is Ready for Partners

Phone on the cloud. Cloud computing concept and business

When Microsoft launched Office 365 E5 enhancements with Cloud PBX capabilities yesterday, it begged the question: Is the hosted voice service ready for channel partners? Today, Microsoft Channel Chief Phil Sorgen provided the answer. Sort of.

Microsoft Channel Chief Phil Sorgen
Microsoft Channel Chief Phil Sorgen

In a blog post, Sorgen stated: "Customers stand to greatly simplify their infrastructure with a single solution for meetings and voice – one that’s integrated with their cloud productivity solution. Show your customers how Office 365 can help their users connect and collaborate from anywhere using virtually any device, with reduced management overhead and reduced total cost of ownership."

Well, that's a start. The blog goes on to discuss a range of new features that may appeal to partners and customers. But Sorgen didn't describe how Office 365 E5 partners can potentially monetize Cloud PBX, nor did he mention potential margins associated with the new cloud service.

Office 365 E5

The offerings are part of the new Office 365 Enterprise E5 SKU -- where Skype for Business and Cloud PBX are major perks.

So far, Microsoft is putting the Skype for Business spotlight on large partners like Avanade, BT, Dell, Dimension Data, HP, Orange and more. What remains less clear (at least to me): How can smaller partners potentially work with those larger service providers or directly with Microsoft itself on Cloud PBX services?

We've reached out to Microsoft for additional insights. Meanwhile, additional answers may emerge during a Drumbeat Road Show promoting Office 365 E5 to partners and customers.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.