Friday, August 1, 2008

Are you signed up for BPOS

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know by now that Microsoft has announced their online strategy called BPOS. We are now using 4 letter acronyms as we evidently have run out of shorter ones. But the reality is that this train has left the station and is on the tracks. Cloud computing will come, even to the SMB, but not today or tomorrow for most of our customers. But none-the-less, it is coming and I encourage you to start to learn and understand what it means. Just like any new technology or change in our industry, it takes time to figure it all out and this is no different. We need to start to get acquainted and understand where it fits and how we will engage. It is not about the 12% first year payments, or the 6% ongoing fees - it is about how we learn to build process and value for our clients through implementing these technologies.

CRN quoted Ray Ozzie from Microsoft on this topic yesterday: "Microsoft's opportunity in this space is perfectly aligned with that of our partners to provide them with the platforms and the tools to make this transition, leveraging our experience as well as our substantial economies of scale in embracing the cloud," Ozzie said.

Ozzie also said Microsoft will offer developers and VARs a pay-as-you-go model for the infrastructure they consume, adding that margins will increase as they move higher up in the stack. "I would expect that the lowest-level computation or storage or whatever infrastructure is going to have lower margins than something at the level of a building block, like a SQL in the cloud, which will have lower margins than something at the application level, and so on," Ozzie said.

You can read their story at

This is all about the business triangle concept I have been preaching the last year or so - we have to learn new skills and move up the stack of value to stay relevant. For now, I encourage you to get set up with a BPOS account. I went through the drill the other day and took the training, filled out the legal doc and passed the online test. It takes an hour or so to get done. Here is the link: No reason to put it off - no cost - and the time to learn is now.

I encourage you to start getting acquainted with these services and the concept of cloud computing. I don't think it is imminent, but it is coming and those who learn and are ready to leverage it will have a significant competitive advantage when the train arrives!

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