Local Microsoft hosting provider, Emantra, will ramp up its reseller efforts this year as part of plans to expand its customer reach.
Emantra CEO, Ross Dewar, said it currently worked with six resellers but was keen to bring on other partners operating in the 20-50 user segment. Emantra's sweet spot is the mid-market.
"Essentially we plan on letting resellers white label our hosting services, which they can bundle with their own services for customers," Dewar said. "These are the organisations that have that local touch, which is impossible for us to provide to smaller customers."
This week, Emantra announced it would begin offering hosted versions of Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, as well as the vendor's new Dynamics CRM 4.0 suite. The hosting company claims it is the first Australian company to offer OCS as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Dewar said several customers were also trialling hosted OCS, including financial services organisation, BDO Kendalls. The SaaS offering is being delivered as a monthly pay-as-a-you-go service.
He said one of the biggest customer drivers behind OCS adoption was the ability to have real-time communications. Most interest had come from customers that had already taken up its hosted Exchange services.
Emantra also offers hosted SharePoint, and SQL-based accounting systems.
"Email is asynchronous - with OCS, we're talking real-time communications," he said. "It helps organisations to not waste time trying to contract people that might be busy. It connects users via the most efficient communications route at that time."
Dewar predicted OCS would trigger a huge uptake in unified communication solutions this year.
"I see this as broadening the way users can communicate with each other, much like email did 15 or so years ago," he said.
Microsoft's decision to introduce multi-tenanted capabilities into its CRM 4.0 release had also opened the door for Emantra to begin offering a hosted version to customers, Dewar said.