Office 365 Partner Community: focus on Enterprise Social – partner opportunities


by Michael Panciroli
US Partner Technology Strategist for Office 365

The Office 365 Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.

This is part 3 of our Office 365 Partner Community blog series focusing on Enterprise Social. You can read part 1 here and read part 2 here.

Partner opportunities in Enterprise Social

The core Microsoft service for Enterprise Social is Yammer. While partners can simply deploy Yammer for a client, there is a rich opportunity take a more comprehensive, organization-wide approach with customers, and build out managed service offerings that encompass the full lifecycle on Office 365.


Many partners already have the skills it takes to perform the technical components, like identity management and migrations during the onboarding phase, social integration with line-of-business systems, and even building Yammer apps. Soon, there will be a new opportunity for partners to create experiences that tap into the connections and insights from Office Graph. The Office Graph uses sophisticated machine learning techniques to map the relationships between people, content, and activity that occurs across Office 365. Currently in preview, the Office Graph incorporates content and signals from email, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and Yammer. Look for announcements about what’s next for the Office Graph from the Build and Ignite conferences.

It's not all technical

The Enterprise Social opportunities for partners are not all about the technical aspects. In fact, Gartner estimates 80% of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an over-emphasis on technology. The success of implementation is not about the technology, it’s about the change in behavior. In the same study, Gartner also reported that only 20% of an enterprise social engagement is implemented though technology, and 80% is implemented through cultural change.

Your opportunities are not just around deploying the technology, but also about helping customers plan for the needed cultural change at their company around how their employees work. You can expand your practice beyond technical services and include offerings for Customer Success Management. This requires "softer" consulting skills, with activities like "Developing and executing an awareness campaign.” It is typically a dedicated role, or it can be taken on by a business analyst. You can learn more about the needed skills and activities in the recording of our April 2 Social Journey Strategy community call.

Here are three suggestions for partner services related to Enterprise Social:

  • If you currently offer Business Consulting services, or as part of your new Enterprise Social practice, you can help customers by providing that leadership and advisement. During the sales phase, you consult with business decision makers about strategies to utilize cloud services, collaborate more effectively, and build an enterprise social networking platform. At a later part of the customer engagement, you assist a customer with their Social Journey by guiding them through process of launching their network and encouraging employee adoption. In my Social Journey post, I outlined the steps and the work to be done in each to accomplish.
  • Provide Adoption and Change Management Support, and assist customers with their Social Journey by guiding them through the process of launching their network and encouraging employee adoption. Within this service, offerings might include: Stakeholder Engagement Planning, Network Launch Support, Network Launch Promotion Planning, Engagement and Adoption Campaigns, Gamification Planning, Change Management, Community Management, and Moderation Services.
  • For ongoing success management, provide additional customer engagement as a managed service to support healthy network growth and continuous measurements and improvements. You can charge monthly support hours for services such as Network Health Review, Analytics, and Community Management.

I hope this series of posts about Enterprise Social provided you with useful information. We will recap the resources and other information in our Office 365 Partner Community newsletter (subscribe here).

The Office 365 Partner Community focus in May is on CRM Online and Office 365. Register for the next Office 365 Partner Community call on May 7.

Previous Office 365 Partner Community topics

Focus on Enterprise Social

Focus on FastTrack “Getting Started”

Focus on Identity Integration

Focus on Enterprise Voice for Office 365 customers

Focus on Security and Compliance

Focus on OneDrive for Business

Focus on Office 365 Hybrid

Comments (2)
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