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One of the biggest challenges facing solution providers in the age of the cloud is finding ways to add value around commodity services, such as Microsoft Office 365. Against that backdrop, Itopia has launched Cielo Suite, a set of tools that makes it simpler for managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver and monetize the company’s workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) offering.

As a category of cloud software, WaaS is emerging as a mechanism through which organizations are transforming business processes. Rather than simply moving documents to the cloud, WaaS provides a framework that enables organizations to leverage a cloud service to work more efficiently.

IDC forecasts that demand for hosted WaaS will continue to grow from an estimated $466 million in 2014 to $4.7 billion in 2020.

Unlike other WaaS offerings, the Itopia Cloud Workspace was designed from the ground up with IT services providers in mind, CEO Jonathan Lieberman said.

“A lot of workspace-as-a-service offerings were designed to be deployed by enterprise IT organizations,” Lieberman said. “We have service providers built into our DNA.

For that reason Itopia gives partners the option of hosting its software where they best see fit, Lieberman said. In addition, Itopia is building a set of tools designed to make it simpler for salespeople to identify the scope of the actual opportunity involving any given customer, he said.

One of the early adopters of Itopia Cloud Workspace is Lexpath Technologies. Martin Tuohy, partner with Lexpath, said the solution provider is initially providing WaaS to law firms that want to work more efficiently, regardless of where they happen to be located at any time. Lexpath is hosting an instance of Itopia Cloud Workspace on their behalf, while continuing to help clients migrate to Microsoft Office 365. The WaaS capability creates an opportunity for Lexpath to provide a higher-margin service that complements Microsoft Office 365, Tuohy said.

“For most of our clients, we are their IT department,” Tuohy said. “Many of those clients are looking to us to help them take advantage of the cloud these days—not so much to reduce costs, but just to run their businesses better.”