Microsoft taps EDS, others to sell online services

The software maker says the Hewlett-Packard unit, as well as Accenture and others will help sell its hosted versions of Exchange and SharePoint.

Business Productivity Online Suite

Microsoft on Monday said that Hewlett-Packard's EDS unit and other partners have agreed to help sell its collection of hosted online services.

EDS, Accenture, and others will help sell what Microsoft calls its Business Productivity Online Suite--a collection of products that Microsoft hosts in its data centers. The products include Exchange, SharePoint, Office Communications Server, and Live Meeting.

Microsoft launched the collection of services last November, but has been saying it also wants partners to help sell the services.

Dutch system integrator Wortell said it likes Microsoft's services because they offer both the opportunity for higher sales plus a way to reach customers that don't have a lot of money to invest in building their computing infrastructure. Microsoft's online services allow those businesses to offer features like full corporate e-mail at a lower upfront cost.

"For us, (it) means that we don't have to worry about infrastructure," Burlage said in an e-mail interview. "It allows us to focus on what's really important." Wortell CTO Danny Burlage said in an e-mail interview.