Microsoft (MSFT) Office 365 has fierce competition in the marketplace, especially with more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies leveraging Google (GOOG) Apps for Business, but one managed services provider (MSP) owner has stayed with Microsoft for three straightforward reasons.

CCNS Consulting owner Karl Bickmore said Office 365 provides his customers with a secure and familiar solution, while also enabling the following opportunities for MSPs:

  • Microsoft will sign a business associate agreement (BAA).
  • Direct integration with Windows 8 and Office 2013.
  • Power of SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013.

Microsoft will sign a business associate agreement (BAA)

Bickmore said any MSP with customers holding medical records should take advantage of Microsoft's willingness to sign a BAA, unlike Google. He added that Microsoft will accept liability if there is a privacy information compliance problem with their product.

Direct integration with Windows 8 and Office 2013

Office 365's direct integration with Windows 8 and Office 2013 makes working in the cloud simple and effective, Bickmore said. End users can find, open, and edit documents with ease from any computer -- without having to log into a website.

Power of SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013

Bickmore said both integrations create simple and smooth experiences for end users, while easing an MSP's workload.

"These application are now far more integrated and superior to their competitors," he said.

While Bickmore often praises Office 365, he admitted that the solution can confuse customers. For example, many customers are often puzzled with Office 365 pricing plans, but Bickmore found a solution.

"You have to have clear messaging about what the difference is in the plans," he said. "Realistically, just a quick sheet of features of each and be prepared to discuss them."

Bickmore shared ways for MSPs to answer top customer objections with Office 365 last month.