ORLANDO – Canadian Cloud Services Provider SherWeb, in attendance at the ConnectWise IT Nation Connect event here, made some significant news on several fronts. They have formally relaunched their Office 365 offer, bundling in separate security, backup and eLearning training components, to both provide a more well-rounded offer and give MSPs an opportunity to increase their Office 365 margins. SherWeb also announced their new Unified Communications-as-a-Service offering at the event. It combines Office 365 with SherWeb’s cloud PBX offering, which is much higher margin than Office 365, and gives the MSP a more profitable product to sell. Finally, SherWeb indicated that their integration with ConnectWise Automate has been completed, and is scheduled to be available in Q1 of 2019. It is their first integration with any RMM product, and for now, at least, they have no plans to expand on that.
SherWeb, whose head offices are in Sherbrooke, Quebec, was founded in 1998, and distributes to MSPs in over 100 countries worldwide, although most of their business is in the U.S. and Canada. They have a strong Microsoft practice, and have been both Microsoft World Hosting Partner of the Year and Microsoft Canada’s SMB Partner of the Year. They have a large Office 365 business, although they have also worked with Google G Suite since it was in beta. A constant challenge has been the fact that Office 365 itself is a low margin product.
“Our approach to Office 365 is that selling it itself is not profitable,” said David Marosi, Account Manager, Partner Network – Sales at SherWeb. “We have partners who come to us looking for a couple more points of margin on Office 365, but what they really need to do is find a way to make their Office 365 business profitable. Everyone says an MSP has to bundle Office 365 to make money, but who develops it for them? That’s what we have done here. We have developed the bundle for them.”
This new Office 365 bundle, which becomes SherWeb’s core product around Office 365, is designed to create newer opportunities for MSPs beyond the standard offering. Available since October, although just now being publicly announced, it adds three components: Office Protect; Online Backup, and the QuickHelp eLearning platform.
“Online Backup is powered by Acronis, but we have tailored it enough that we can call it ours,” Marosi said. “Office Protect, the security component, has been designed in-house, our first offering that is entirely 100 per cent our own IP. We have taken the complicated reporting and narrowed it down to the top 15 report lines an MSP would need, things like suspicious logins. It gives the partner an opportunity to log in with the customer, and creates stickiness on a low-margin product like Office 365.” Online Backup provides 1GB of storage per user, pooled across an organization.
“The third product, QuickHelp, is from Brainstorm and is a tool that teaches users how to use more of Office 365,” Marosi said. “Only 33 per cent of Office 365 users use all the capabilities of their licenses. Some customers tend to overbuy, and then downgrade the license later, so that the partners lose revenue. QuickHelp provides training on how to use things like SharePoint or OneDrive. We include that service for 45 days. It enables partners to upsell the Office 365 license.”
The UCaaS offering has just been unveiled.
“We just announced at the show our version of UCaaS,” Marosi said. “Our cloud PBX product now integrates with Skype for Business, which is now part of Microsoft Teams within Office 365. It combines the low margin Office 365 with our much higher-margin PBX offering.”
Marosi said that while there is plenty of UCaaS competition, SherWeb can offer it within a broader portfolio.
“Lots of companies offer UCaaS, but that’s all they offer,” he said. “We want to be a one-stop shop where someone can do all of their business with us.”
Sher-Web also has finalized their integration with ConnectWise – their first RMM integration.
“We have been using our portal as our own RMM, but we polled our customers, and they said that us integrating with ConnectWise was really important to their business,” Marosi noted.
The integration is scheduled to be available in Q1 of 2019.
“This is a big first step for us, and we are really exited about that,” Marosi said.
For now, ConnectWise will be SherWeb’s only such integration.
“We are not dipping toes with any other vendors at this time,” Marosi stated.