The Open-Xchange Partner Summit 2010 wrapped up last week. Company executives and OX partners alike got to take the stage and talk about what they bring to the open source messaging and groupware platform. While CEO Rafael Laguna's keynote laid out most of the ideas we would hear repeated over the course of the day, your humble correspondent still heard some interesting tidbits. Here are a few.

In no particular order, things overheard at the summit:
  1. By the Numbers: In the US, Open-Xchange business is roughly two-thirds SaaS, one-third legacy deployments, with the former growing rapidly.
  2. Drop 'Til They Shop: The cloud price war and the race to the bottom it entails has  service providers and VARs worried, with the increasing commoditization of the cloud a repeated concern.
  3. Ready to Rock: At least one hosted Open-Xchange provider was very excited for the upcoming Web Desktop, praising its ability to contextualize SaaS apps  for customers and demonstrate value in a way that's easy for them to digest.
  4. Definitional Speaking: Jeffrey Mann, VP of research at Gartner, defined cloud computing thusly: "A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided 'as a service' to customers using Internet technologies."
  5. Keep Them Integrated: Open-Xchange plans to use the OXtender product line to integrate their platform with everything from Apple Mac OS X to BlackBerry Enterprise Server to social business networks.
  6. Focus, Focus: The "low-hanging fruit" for Open-Xchange partners looking to sell SaaS services are the retail, government, and universities, and efforts need to be focused on that.
  7. White Flag: Microsoft resellers are starting to defect from Exchange due to the crippling of hosting features as compared to BPOS - which isn't nearly as reseller friendly, attendees claimed.
It was an interesting conference, and energy was definitely high -- everyone there believed in the strength of the product and their ability to compete with Microsoft and Google. There were further insights gleamed from the ten minutes I got to spend with Laguna, so keep watching The VAR Guy.

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