Spiceworks, the free systems management solution, today announces a partnership with Rackspace Hosting to enable users to manage their cloud e-mail servers from the same dashboard as their other IT assets. The idea, Spiceworks says, is to give SMBs and the MSPs that service them control over both cloud and on-premises assets without getting tangled up in multiple portals. Here’s the scoop.

The cloud e-mail service view in Spiceworks will enable services providers to drill down and see stats like domains managed, available licenses, inbox capacity limits, and number of BlackBerry and ActiveSync users. The potential market for this kind of management is pretty large -- Rackspace hosts 1.6 million paid e-mail accounts and Spiceworks claims almost a million customers.

Most interesting in my mind: The Rackspace deal represents a new revenue stream for Spiceworks, which has traditionally been advertising-supported. Spiceworks, which was nearly profitable in 2009, will get a cut of any new cloud e-mail business Rackspace generates through the agreement.

Cloud distribution is a major challenge and opportunity for SMBs, and most federated login solutions are aimed at large enterprises (though we hear there are some major moves in that regard coming soon). Integration, like the kind Rackspace and Spiceworks apparently intend to offer, is aimed squarely at the SMB market and I think services providers are going to respond in kind.

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