Software giant, Microsoft, has commercially launched its Windows Intune cloud service, specifically catering for the SMB space.
Microsoft introduced Windows Intune in a beta version in April last year for 1000 users in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The service aims to streamline administrative functions for SMBs by moving common tasks across to a hosted environment, eliminating the requirement to set up and manage in-house software.
Microsoft Australia Windows commercial lead, Moragh Blyth, said the all-in-one subscription service provides customers with PC management, security and access to Windows 7 enterprise edition.
It will cost users $15 per device, per month under a 12-month subscription and it’s also available as a 30-day trial period. Volume discounts are also up for grabs on companies that purchase more than 250 licenses.
“We’ve done some research locally that estimates there are about 700,000 SMBs, which is a prime market for this service,” Blyth said. “We think that will give partners a broader pull to market their own services on top of Intune.”
To be involved in offering Windows Intune, partners need to enrol in its Cloud Essentials Program and they’ll also be offered with specific cloud training resources.
“The barriers aren’t high and we have a lot of resources available to partners to come onboard,” Blythe said.
The latest offering builds on Microsoft’s cloud tools including Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Online Services.
Microsoft partner technical advisor, Mark O’Shea, said there were a lot of companies in the market that don’t have a PC management solution in place, but also opened up the opportunity to upgrade customers to Windows 7.
Online Services Corporation (OCS) general manager, Steve Anderton, said Windows Intune provided it with ability to offer a holistic cloud-based service.
“We’re starting to build up a whole suite of capability to take to our customers, especially for the small ones that have challenges within their IT department” Anderton said. “It gives us new avenue for revenue from a Microsoft partnership perspective.”
Paradyne principal, Loryan Strant, said there were a lot of SMBs that don’t have a lot of significant infrastructure to run their IT environment.
“We feel Intune will make a huge difference for organisations, putting their IT management in the cloud,” Strant said.