It was announced over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, so it's no wonder we didn't notice until now: U.K. cloud service provider and VAR Outsourcery has become the latest partner and Office 365 reseller to join the ranks of the elite Microsoft Cloud Champions. Outsourcery has more than a few reasons to crow about this achievement, as it's only the ninth in the United Kingdom to reach that rank -- and the others are mainly huge multinational organizations.

In its short press release, Outsourcery credits a large part of its success to its growing momentum in reselling Microsoft Office 365, but another part of that is its larger data center growth and focus on becoming a more channel-friendly organization.

Here's Piers Linney, Co-CEO of Outsourcery with more detail from a prepared statement:
 "This recognition from Microsoft is a further indication they recognise our desire to become a leading UK Cloud Service Provider. This past year has seen significant change within the organisation involving a move to become a more channel-focused organisation, the sell-off of part of our legacy mobile business and development of our data centre capabilities.  It also reflects the tireless efforts of the Outsourcery team to ensure that we continue to lead the market and provide the best in class offering."

As a refresher, the Cloud Champions club is only open to those Microsoft partners who excel at promoting the aforementioned Office 365 suite or the Microsoft Windows Azure PaaS cloud. The initial barrier to entry at the lowest level -- at least the most recently we've heard -- is three customers and 25 recurring revenue seats. It's not hard, but it's designed to get partners engaged with Microsoft's burgeoning cloud initiatives. And in return, these partners get business guidance and lines of contact with Microsoft itself.

Needless to say, Microsoft's cloud momentum is a hot topic as it looks to make Office 365 a cornerstone of its partner program. Stay tuned to TalkinCloud for more updates.