by Frank Campise, Partner Technology Strategist
On behalf of the National Partner Technology Strategist team, I would like to wish you a very happy New Year! We hope that you had a productive and profitable 2014, and believe that 2015 holds a tremendous amount of potential and opportunity for the Microsoft partner community.
If you are like me, you may have spent time recently reflecting on your business over the past year. As you look back on 2014, do you think about whether your business should have, or could have, made bigger strides in evolving toward a cloud-based business model? Public cloud IT services spending will reach nearly $108 billion in 2017, according to IDC. Looking forward to 2015 and beyond, is your business ready to take advantage of the opportunities for partners that are embracing the cloud?
I encourage you to make a resolution for the New Year that the cloud will become a bigger part of your business in 2015. Last year, Microsoft released several cloud planning and profitability resources for partners that are still relevant for helping you cloud-enable your business in early 2015.
System Integrators in the cloud era: embracing the future
Last year, we partnered with David Chappell to deliver a series of talks called “Microsoft Azure, Your Customers and Your Future.” In one of these sessions, “SI’s in the Cloud Era: Embracing Packaged IP, SaaS and More,” David talks about how the cloud is changing the way System Integrators need to think about their businesses moving forward, and explains how various aspects of your business will be impacted by the cloud.
Some of the questions David addresses in his SI’s in the Cloud Era talk include:
- How does your value proposition change with the cloud?
- How does the cloud impact your customer segments, customer relationships, and who you sell to?
- What are the key activities and resources needed for your business?
- How are revenue streams impacted?
- How do cost structures change?
- Do you need to consider new offerings?
- Does your business need to change or is the cloud just additive?
If your company is an SI with an application development practice or an infrastructure practice, I recommend watching the SI’s in the Cloud Era session, and you can watch each of the four webcasts featuring David Chappell on the Partner Learning Center here.
As you think about making the cloud a bigger part of your business in 2015, you will want to answer this question: “How can my company be profitable with the cloud?” There are now several Microsoft partners that have transformed their businesses from pre-cloud business models to profitable, cloud-centric business models. Many of these partners have shared their journey to the cloud and the lessons they learned along the way. Based on their experiences, we have been able to create resources for Microsoft partners that will help you understand your options and opportunities in the cloud:
- New! Download the Cloud Adoption Partner Profitability Playbook
- Download the IDC Successful Cloud Partners 2.0 summary
- Download the IDC Successful Cloud Partners 2.0 ebook
- Register for the 2015 Cloud Profitability Program webcasts
- Watch the 2014 Cloud Profitability Program webcasts on demand
- Learn how other partners are succeeding with the cloud
- Follow the cloud profitability learning path
- Building a profitable managed service practice with Azure
- Learn how Office 365 internal use rights can accelerate your business
- Join the Azure Partner and Office 365 Partner Communities
I also recommend reading our previous Your Future in the Cloud post, “Why Make the Move?” and viewing these sessions from WPC 2014 that specifically talk about successful and profitable cloud businesses:
- CL201 – Successful Cloud Partners 2.0: What Successful Partners Are Doing to Build Profitable Cloud Businesses
- CL206 – Evolving your Business Model to Improve Profitability by Selling Cloud Solutions
- CL210 – Transform your business from IT Consulting Services to Cloud ISV
You can find more WPC 2014 sessions about the cloud, Azure, and Office 365 in the WPC Connect site. Select Content, then WPC 2014 Session Resources.
Move forward with the cloud
It’s not too late to make the cloud a key part of your business in 2015! In addition to utilizing the resources above, I encourage you to take these steps:
- Get all roles in your company trained on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365. You’ll find on-demand training recommendations in the Products section of the Microsoft partner learning paths page. For upcoming in-person and virtual live training, check out the Hot Sheet training schedule.
- Download the Azure Practice Building Roadmap from the US Partner Community on Yammer. This guide contains information to help all roles in your company—business, sales, and technical—get up to speed on Microsoft Azure.
- Register for the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida from July 12–16.
- If your company is a managed partner, reach out to your local Partner Technology Strategist and initiate the cloud conversation.
- The Microsoft Partner Network now offers Cloud Performance competencies for partners with active Azure and Office 365 practices. Learn about their benefits and requirements.
- Participate in our Azure Partner and Office 365 Partner communities. These communities are led by my colleagues on the National Partner Technology Strategists team. Community activities include themed blog posts, monthly community calls, discussions on Yammer, and newsletters.
Azure Partner Community
Office 365 Partner Community