Welcome to the August 2015 Office 365 Partner Community post.
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by Michael Panciroli
Highlights for Office 365 partners from WPC 2015
There were lots of great presentations, demos, and announcements for Office 365 partners at WPC 2015 in Orlando this past July. Below, I’ve summarized them and provided you with links to get more information about each.
Day 1 of WPC was about showcasing new technology innovations that demonstrate our ambitions to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud, and create more personal computing. Review Microsoft Channel Chief Phil Sorgen’s blog post for an excellent overview of product announcements and information about the investments Microsoft is making to help partners enable customers through technology.
Julia White, General Manager of Microsoft Apps & Services Marketing, took the main stage to deliver a productivity keynote filled with energy and crisp demos, covering Project GigJam and Cortana integration with Office 365. I encourage you to watch her presentation to learn about our strategic product investments that innovate the modern workplace.
It was announced that we are introducing a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called “E5,” and a dashboard that lets you view usage reports for your customers from within the MPN Online Services Dashboard.
- Read John Case’s blog post that provides details about these Office 365 announcements
- Watch John Case’s Vision Keynote presentation
We’re making investments in the resources we provide Microsoft partners to help you increase your market value, amplify your marketing impact, and grow your market influence. Gavriella Schuster, General Manager in the Worldwide Partner Group, talked about these investments, which include changes that will streamline and improve training, certification, exam delivery, and performance tracking.
Microsoft FastTrack and the Cloud Solution Provider program were both covered extensively at WPC, and both have significant impact for Office 365 partners. Microsoft FastTrack has been updated to better meet customer needs, and there will be a new Office 365 Adoption Offer available for September 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016 so that you can help your customers increase their adoption and usage of Office 365 among their employees.
- Read the blog post about Microsoft FastTrack updates
- Review the Microsoft FastTrack portal page for program and Adoption Offer details, customer/partner eligibility information, and resources
- Watch WPC 2015 session US09: From value definition to usage – your customer’s Office 365 journey
The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is designed to deepen your involvement in every aspect of the customer journey: sales, billing, packaged solutions, support, and renewal. The program includes Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, so you can own the customer lifecycle of a solution that includes product licensing, provisioning, and support.
New to market for partners that are already in the CSP program are Commerce CREST APIs to automate transactions and integration into your own billing system.
Partner profitability was a major theme throughout the conference. We introduced new profitability resources that go deeper into helping you transform your business. Over the past few years, we’ve partnered with IDC to explain why it’s critical for partners to make investments in shifting their businesses to the cloud. Recent research indicates that IT spend is in transition—customers spend more than half of their IT budget (55 percent) on cloud and managed services versus traditional IT (45 percent).
On the new Capitalize on the cloud opportunity page, you’ll find two great resources:
Scenario-focused value proposition decks, with 20 Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Windows and devices scenarios. These decks provide a summary of the customer needs, market opportunity, and partner opportunity in the form of a list of project services, managed services, and intellectual property services that partners are wrapping around each scenario, along with the average revenue and margins obtained for each.
A set of financial models that let you model out the potential revenue, contribution margin, and valuation impact that taking a new scenario to market will deliver. Models are provided for Office 365, Azure, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and in the form of a combination model which combines Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM Online, and Windows/devices.
- Read the blog post by Darren Bibby, VP of Channels and Alliances Research at IDC
- Review the Capitalize on the cloud opportunity portal page
- Watch WPC 2015 session CP05: Building a financially sound cloud business and creating shareholder value
Comments about this post, or questions about the topic? Let us know in the Office 365 Partners Yammer group.