In the latest edition of Redmond Channel Partner magazine (RCPmag.com), a short article by Editor in Chief Scott Bekker caught my eye in which he shares some important data points from a recent report from Champion Solutions Group, who surveyed a small sample of Office 365 administrators to try and quantify the total cost of ownership (TCO) of managing Office 365. This topic goes back several years for me, back when I was a member of the Microsoft Managed Solutions (MMS) team in 2006-2007, which was the precursor to BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services) and then Office 365. I remember sitting in my office talking with peers Charles Ofori, Kimberley Ward, and Mike Watson about the early licensing models, and different factors that would impact the TCO of the fledgling platform. Specifically, we were trying to outline the benefits for a new customer that was coming online, who had been asking for this information.
A handful of years later, while serving as Chief Evangelist at migration and administration ISV Axceler, the topic came up again from time to time, once again in context to customer questions as they tried to internally understand the true costs of managing SharePoint – and using their understanding of these internal costs to justify a strategy to move from on-prem to the cloud. While the sample set is small, it does validate a few things that I’ve seen over the course of my career with Office 365 – primarily that it provides the best value for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), but due to the need for customizations, integrations, and hybrid solutions, that cost can increase for the enterprise. Again, it does not appear that this study took into account these more complex scenarios, but the data shared, in my mind, is directionally correct with these assumptions.
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