by Sharon Collins, Microsoft U.S. Cloud Partner Lead
Cloud computing can help your SMB and enterprise customers increase their IT flexibility, reduce deployment costs, and manage operations, and the market opportunity with cloud computing continues to grow. You can expand your business and position your company as a trusted advisor by offering cloud-based solutions that are equivalent to your existing on-premises solutions. If you’re not sure where to start to add the cloud to your Microsoft practice, the Microsoft Partner Network can help, with Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate programs.
Cloud Essentials Provides Basic Cloud-Related Benefits
First, as a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, you are eligible to join Cloud Essentials (requirements). Take a few minutes to complete your Cloud Essentials enrollment and access your cloud-related benefits, which include internal-use software licenses for 25 seats each of Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
To understand your opportunities and begin educating yourself and your company about the cloud, use these resources:
- The IDC Cloud Transition Series, written specifically for Microsoft partners, offers guidance and recommendations based on your business model.
- Take advantage of no-cost and low-cost product training for Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
- Watch the Cloud Business Model Jump Start for VARs and Systems Integrators.
- Find additional partner resources on the Microsoft Cloud Solutions web page.
- The Practice Accelerator for Microsoft Office 365 is an instructor-led training that provides you with reusable tools for use in customer engagements. For Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate partners, this Practice Accelerator is offered at no cost.
Cloud Accelerate Benefits Help Expand Your Practice
Once you begin actively selling Microsoft Online Services, Cloud Accelerate offers benefits that will help increase your profitability. You must have an Action Pack subscription or a Microsoft silver or gold competency, plus complete three qualifying cloud deals with at least 150 total licenses within the previous 18 months (full list of requirements). Incremental benefits over the Cloud Essentials benefits include a unique Microsoft Cloud Accelerate logo that allows you to showcase your cloud expertise for customers, marketplace visibility with Microsoft Pinpoint and Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace priority listings, additional internal-use licenses, and five partner advisory hours to apply to Practice Accelerators and Technical Presales and Advisory Services.
Channel Incentives for Microsoft Online Services
Earn incentives for driving cloud adoption. In Cloud Accelerate, you are eligible for core advisor incentives when you meet the qualifications, and you qualify for Solution Accelerators incentives for your sales. Download and review the Microsoft Online Services Advisor Incentives guide, and join the bi-weekly call hosted by Channel Incentives experts to understand more about how the incentives work.
New Small Business Competency
According to a recent Microsoft survey conducted by Edge Strategies, 50 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) say cloud computing is going to become more important for their operations, and 58 percent believe working in the cloud can make companies more competitive. Earning the new Small Business competency uniquely positions your business to take advantage of this market opportunity, demonstrate advanced skills and technology expertise, and provide cost-effective services.Complete exams and requirements to earn the silver or gold competency. Benefits include advisory hours and presales tech support, access to enhanced marketing and sales tools and internal-use software and services, and competency logo usage. If you don’t currently have a competency, take advantage of special Silver Small Business competency pricing. If you already have a Microsoft competency, this is a great addition to your business.
Our partner guides for SMB customers can help you better understand the market opportunities and customer needs:
Read previous Cloud Partner-related blog posts at https://aka.ms/uscloudpartnerblog.