groupSPARK Founder Invited to Speak with Microsoft at 2008 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Burlington, MA – July 7, 2008 – groupSPARK — a mindSHIFT company, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the leading provider of private label hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions including hosted Exchange Server 2007, hosted SharePoint Services 3.0, and hosted Dynamics CRM — announced today that groupSPARK’s founder and senior executive officer, Ravi Agarwal, will speak at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), held in Houston, Texas, July 7-10, 2008.  Agarwal will draw upon groupSPARK’s success as a leader in the SaaS industry and will address the benefits and opportunities available for resellers through private-label hosted services.  groupSPARK was named 2008 Microsoft Partner of the Year, in the Advanced Infrastructure, Hosting Solutions category.

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference brings together 10,000 Microsoft Partners to gain insight into business growth opportunities and Microsoft product innovation.  Through a series of presentations and events, partners will also share insights and experiences on the latest industry issues and strategies on business success.  groupSPARK was invited to join Microsoft in speaking on a number of topics including how to build a steady stream of recurring revenue through private-label hosted software services and the pros and cons of deploying an in-house SaaS solution vs. partnering with a private label provider.   groupSPARK’s presentation schedule follows:

  • Monday, July7th 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:30 – 3:35 PM, 310 BCEF
    Small Business Symposium: Transformation To Software Plus Services: Expand Your Business By Selling Hosted Services With Your Brand

    Greg Olsby, Microsoft, and Ravi Agarwal, groupSPARK
    Do you want to add new revenue streams to your existing portfolio? Are you working to retain existing customers and attract new ones to your software-plus-services offerings? Hear how other Microsoft partners are successfully evolving their businesses to offer private-label hosted services.
  • Monday, July 7th 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, 351 E
    Industry Partner Forum: Hosting and Delivering Your Online Services

    Greg Olsby, Microsoft, and Ravi Agarwal, groupSPARK
    Learn about the revenue opportunity in targeting other Microsoft partners — including value-added resellers, independent software vendors, and systems integrators — for private-label hosting. Discover how Microsoft partners like groupSPARK can help you capitalize on this vast opportunity.
  • Tuesday, July 8th 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM, 352 EF
    Build a Recurring Revenue Stream: Resell Branded Hosted Services

    Michael van Dijken, Microsoft, and Ravi Agarwal, groupSPARK
    With more companies looking to outsource IT to a service provider, there is tremendous opportunity for you to build a hosting business with minimal risk. Grow your business by reselling branded hosted services from a Microsoft hosting partner. Learn about this opportunity, hear from successful partners such as groupSPARK, and sign up today.

  • Tuesday, July 8th 2:00 – 2:30 PM, 5:30 – 6:00 PM – Microsoft Hosting Pavilion
    Build vs. Partner:  When Is It Better to Partner With A Private Label Provider vs. Rolling Out Your Own SaaS Solution?

    Ravi Agarwal, groupSPARK
    Interest in SaaS is exploding as SMBs demand anytime, anywhere access to their mission- critical data.  Service providers see the potential revenue and customer retention benefits of selling SaaS solutions.  The question is whether it is more advantageous to build your own in-house infrastructure or partner with a private label provider?  Time and cost of deployment, quantity of hardware, software, and training involved and need for experienced personnel are just a few of the many issues to consider.  This session will weigh the benefits and drawbacks to rolling out your own SaaS solution vs. partnering with a private label provider.

“The SaaS market continues to grow at a rapid pace as small and mid-size businesses discover that they can take immediate advantage of industry-leading Fortune-500 messaging and collaboration tools as hosted services at a price they can easily absorb.  Therefore, resellers are searching for a way to offer these services to their customers under their own brand, increasing customer retention and recurring revenue per user,” says Ravi Agarwal, founder and senior executive director of groupSPARK, a mindSHIFT company.

“Through these sessions we will discuss how Microsoft partners can begin reselling private label hosted services to their customers in as little as 30 minutes, with no risk, and capitalize on this significant business opportunity. The ability to resell hosted Exchange Server 2007, hosted SharePoint Services, hosted Dynamics CRM and provide support for mobile devices under their own brand gives resellers a significant advantage over their competitors,” Agarwal said.

Worldwide Partner Conference attendees can visit with groupSPARK personnel on the Expo floor at booth #1070 as well as inside the Microsoft hosting pavilion.  Additionally, the company will be accepting the 2008 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the Advanced Infrastructure Solutions, Hosting Solutions category for its demonstration of both technical and business marketing innovation.  The award was announced on June 16, 2008 and will be officially presented to groupSPARK at an Executive Luncheon on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at the Worldwide Partner Conference.

About groupSPARK

Located in Burlington, Massachusetts, groupSPARK, a mindSHIFT company, is a leading provider of SaaS services, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and Dynamics CRM, which can be completely private labeled and resold by partners as a part of their own product offerings, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in development and support costs.

Its partners utilize groupSPARK’s turnkey private label platform to provide hosted services to their users in minutes.  Partners are able to address scalability and uptime concerns by leveraging groupSPARK’s 100% uptime SLA, private label 24×7 U.S.-based support and proactive hardware and software monitoring capabilities. For additional information, visit


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