Introduction about Next Generation Hosting
Through Software as a Service model, Exchange Hosting providers has been delivering the messaging services at its best. But the customer needs are growing such that now broader services are to be provided, which goes beyond accessing mere application (e.g. Outlook over Web) through browsers.
Industry is now watching the progress at Software + Services (S+S) model whereby providers extend the existing model to fulfill customer’s next level demand on total business solutions as well as enhance the end user experience. This certainly needs a high level integration of enterprise, desktop and web based applications, taking the Exchange Hosting Provider to next level, "Software + Services" (S+S).
In other words, S+S providers create a long-term relationship with customers as they provide total business solutions rather just Exchange & Outlook. For example, S+S providers in Exchange hosting sector are capable of providing integrated user experience of hosted Microsoft exchange, hosted SharePoint, hosted Unified Communications using Microsoft Office communications Server product. Microsoft is aggressively aligning its future products to assist the service providers in S+S space so that customers will be enabled with the services and end user experience that S+S providers can deliver.
What will be the Next Generation Hosting Platform & How Microsoft products
Opportunities with S+S are going to grow exponentially according to the current customer business trends - S+S will be a sure preference for customers over SaaS model. Therefore, Microsoft is doing its part by creating strong base with Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, IIS 7.0, and Silverlight etc. Using this Microsoft core service platform, S+S providers can create state of the art infrastructure in order to deliver the applications and services for customer's total business solution.
Delivering Next Generation Services - What are the success criteria?
Make use of the Microsoft's core Services at the platform level, build the applications and services as "total solution" which meets customer business requirements, and then deliver them using Windows as a services (WaaS). As the services are wider range, categorize them as Microsoft applications, Microsoft Services, Applications created by MS partners, in some cases light use of open source applications, etc...
Enhanced Client Experience
End user experience is getting better and better with applications like Microsoft Silverlight and Expression Suite. MS Silverlight is now competing with products like Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, Adobe Shockwave, Apple QuickTime, Java etc. Silverlight is a browser plug-in from Microsoft, which can be used for developing rich internet application such as animation, to playback audio/video, vector graphics etc. So S+S providers can take advantage of this kind of Windows applications in enhancing end user experience over internet with its click to run characteristics.
How is Microsoft’s engagement with Hosting providers to enable S+S? Not so much information is with me...Probably we all can keep an eye on the following site - www.microsoft.com/hosting