The Microsoft Office 365 cloud is set to welcome a new wave of small business customers. The latest potential adopters: Customers that previously used Microsoft Office Live Small Business (OLSB), an aging cloud platform that Microsoft (symbol: MSFT) will shut down on April 30.

Talkin' Cloud does not have a feel for the overall OLSB installed base. But there could be an opportunity here for VARs, MSPs and cloud consultants to assist small businesses with OLSB migrations to Office 365.

Already, some customers are upset and confused by the migration requirement, according to a recent PC World article. But let's give Microsoft some credit here:

  • Customers have known about the Office Live Small Business shutdown for quite some time. This wasn't an overnight surprise from Microsoft.

  • Microsoft is offering former OLSB customers a free, six-month, no-obligation trial of Office 365. Once the free trial expires, the Office 365 suite shifts to about $6 per user per month.


Despite those incentives, small businesses can be very sensitive about platform changes. Plenty of channel partners are willing to lend a hand. For example: CloudVisors is is offering a special $199.95 website migration service to help OLSB customers move to Office 365. That's a 50 percent discount from CloudVisors' usual fee.

Side note: When we checked the CloudVisor's website we did not see any company street address or specific executive names, so be sure to do your homework when investigating such migration services.

And another side thought: We wonder if Google Apps Authorized Resellers will jump into this market, and attempt to move Microsoft Office Live Small Business customers over to the Google Apps platform.

We'll get our answer on or before April 30.