Well, Partners – it appears we not only need to be mindful of Dell infiltrating our Client base – we have now been notified that Microsoft will be following suit!
See this news release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-14MSComcastPR.mspx. Here’s an excerpt:
Comcast and Microsoft Launch Microsoft Communication Services From Comcast for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
New offering provides SMBs with hosted corporate-grade e-mail, scheduling and document-sharing services backed by 24×7 support.
PHILADELPHIA, and REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 14, 2007 — Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSK, CMCSA), the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions, have launched a new Internet-based communications product for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), giving SMBs access to services that have traditionally only been available to larger companies with IT staffs. Comcast’s SMB customers will be the first in the country to receive Microsoft Communication Services from Comcast, which will provide them with corporate-class e-mail, calendaring and document sharing. This product is Internet-based, so SMBs do not need additional server capacity, and is backed by 24×7 Business Class customer support from Comcast, which will serve as an SMB’s “help desk.”
Apparently Microsoft feels that small businesses need the assistance of Comcast to provide technical services to them – I guess we’re just not getting the job done. Shame on us as Solution Providers who are shirking our duties to provide consultative IT services to needy Clients, underutilizing our years of training, certifications, experience and Vendor relationships!
It’s obvious that our Clients need a better answer – a Cable TV service provider that can leverage their years of Cable TV Programming experience to deliver business-class IT services to the Clients we have so willfully wronged and abandoned.
I really hate it when our perceived Manufacturer/Vendor Partners force me to re-think my positions and eat my words….see this post: http://mspu.typepad.com/weblog/2007/10/should-msps-fea.html. Here is an excerpt:
So I always tell our Partners that are worried about the 800lb gorillas stealing their clients that the key to keeping them is their relationships with their clients. I’m confident that Microsoft, Dell, Ingram, Best Buy, Staples, Circut City, etc. would never be able to replace our relationship with our clients.
As Karl writes so effectively in this post: http://smallbizthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/11/selling-technology-vs-selling-business.html, we need to transition from being Technology Consultants to becoming Business Consultants – it’s the only way to stave off the invasion.