As Microsoft prepares to launch Office 365 cloud upgrades for business on Feb. 27, it's an ideal time to look at the Office 365 Marketplace -- an partner finder that allows customers to track down integrated applications, professional services and deployment experts.

Office 365 -- the SaaS platform featuring Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online -- seems to be gaining momentum with channel partners. But Microsoft has said surprisingly little about the associated Office 365 Marketplace. A spot-check by Talkin' Cloud today revealed the marketplace has:

  • 544 application listings worldwide
  • 688 professional services listings worldwide
  • And 744 companies overall worldwide

Some familiar names -- such as SADA Systems, a Top 100 Cloud Services Provider in 2012 -- are promoted in the marketplace. But I don't have a feel for activity in the marketplace. Nor do I know if Microsoft will put a larger spotlight on the marketplace now that the Office 365 cloud refresh is on the way. 

Meanwhile, Google Apps also has an enterprise marketplace that promotes third-party cloud applications and professional services experts that focus on archiving, support and managed services, training and change management and more. The enterprise marketplace is not to be confused with the Google Play store containing Android Apps.

Much like Microsoft, Google hasn't said much recently about its partner marketplace. Both efforts seem like diamonds in the rough that deserve far more attention -- from Google, Microsoft and partners that want greater visibility.