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Microsoft Partners Engaging in Acquisitions to Ramp Up Adoption of Office 365

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July 10, 2012

Microsoft Partners Engaging in Acquisitions to Ramp Up Adoption of Office 365

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

RBA, a Microsoft (News - Alert) partner based in Minnesota, recently has acquired Meritide’s Dynamics CRM and Office 365 cloud consulting segments. With this acquisition, RBA will acquire 150 new cloud and CRM customers.

RBA’s move is the latest step made by a Microsoft partner in an attempt to gain access to a proven track record of success as well as to push into neighboring markets by acquiring peer companies. Another Microsoft partner firm, Sentri, Inc., recently acquired Clearway Corp. to gain expertise in Microsoft cloud solutions.

Before acquiring Meritide’s business segments, RBA had expertise in Windows Server, SQL, .NET (News - Alert) and SharePoint. By purchasing Dynamics CRM, RBA gains instant credibility in the Dynamics market, largely because it will receive a Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club Honor and will earn Microsoft CRM Gold Competency Status.

When making remarks about the acquisition, RBA president and COO Mike Reinhart focused on discussing CRM instead of talking about Office 365.

“Over the last two years we have had customers ask for our help with their Microsoft CRM implementations due to their past experience of working with us and our track record of delivery,” stated Reinhart.

He added, “Meritide's CRM team brings to RBA the Microsoft CRM Gold Competency status and has achieved a Microsoft Dynamics President's Club membership which is a validation of their great customer references and deep CRM expertise. We see this as an opportunity to expand on our capabilities and provide proven CRM experience to our existing and future clients.”

Just yesterday, the tech giant made headlines when it revealed that it would be making Office 365 a sweeter deal for its partners. Partners will be able to bill their customers directly for Office 365 and will also be able to add in any complementary services that they provide alongside the robust solution. Additionally, companies will earn a margin of 11 points over present-day margins offered by Microsoft.

Yet, Office 365 has to work to attract customers and to prevent them from choosing Google (News - Alert) Apps or other cloud computing office applications currently on the market. As of late, customers have complained not only about migration issues but also about the fact that Office 365 requires on-premise server and PC upgrades so that it can interact with desktop software.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

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