Level Platforms Enables Monitoring of Cloud-Based SAAS Apps for MSPs

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

IT resellers and solution providers have ranked Microsoft's software as a service (SAAS) as the biggest competitive threat they face in the cloud. Now, to help them grab back some of that business, managed services platform provider Level Platforms has introduced a monitoring solution for MSP partners that lets them monitor both cloud solutions and on-premises solutions for customers.

Resellers and solution providers recognize a competitive threat when they see one. That’s why they ranked Microsoft and its software-as-a-service (SAAS) offering as the biggest competitive threat they face—not any apps from Google.

Now managed services platform provider Level Platforms is looking to help its MSPs take advantage of the opportunities created by Microsoft’s launch of its own hosted Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint services being sold directly to end-user customers.

Level Platforms recently introduced a Managed Cloud Services capability that extends IT management beyond just the local IT infrastructure to also monitor IT software and services delivered from the cloud, according to the company.

"Not only can solution providers now understand how these cloud services are performing, but they can also now understand and address issues related to them," Level Platforms CEO Peter Sandiford tells Channel Insider. "If e-mail is not performing, they can determine if the problem is with the hosted app or whether the problem is focused on the router and server or if it’s the local PC."

Sandiford points out that many solution providers have viewed hosted Exchange services delivered from Microsoft and other big providers as a potential loss of revenue. That VAR used to own the business when it was on-site. But as it is delivers as a service from another party, the solution provider stands to lose that business.

However, Sandiford believes there could be a possible opportunity for solution providers who take charge of delivering that hosted application together with the monitoring service to end customers.

The market still has a bit of a Wild West feel to it, however. Sandiford says that hosted services haven’t grown very quickly in the small business and midmarket business markets.

"The reason why I believe that’s true is that SAAS providers haven’t recognized the importance of the channel in reselling these products," he says.

Solution providers may also be resistant.

"Many solution providers know there’s an opportunity in cloud services, and they know that they need to get behind it and support it conceptually, but many see it as a potential threat to their existing businesses, particularly at the lower end of the market," Sandiford says.

To start, the Managed Cloud Services offering will work with Microsoft’s hosted Exchange and Sharepoint, and also with groupSpark’s hosted Exchange and Sharepoint. In addition, it will support Microsoft’s Productivity Online Suite, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting. But Sandiford says Level Platforms has many other development efforts under way to create monitoring solutions for other SAAS offerings.

Level Platforms works with 3,000 managed services providers globally.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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