The cloud is going to involve massive change, for Microsoft, customers and partners. If partners are willing to embrace this change and evolve their business models to work with the new cloud based offerings, there’s massive opportunity.
Expanding your reach
Cloud computing from Microsoft can provide opportunities to reach new customers – we expect almost three-quarters of sales to be to new customers. It may also allow you to target new verticals or types of business, particularly in the SMB space. We also have cloud-based offerings such as the deskless worker suite available via BPOS which brings technology access (to email and SharePoint sites) to workers who would previously had none.
Growing your revenue
There a two key methods for partners to grow their revenue with Microsoft cloud services – recurring subscription revenues and additional consulting, migration and integration services. When partners are associated with a BPOS deal, they receive an initial payment 12% of the purchase, plus 6% of on-going subscription fees. (There are different fees for other partners, such as BPOS resellers.) These fees are effectively new for SI partners, who previously made very little or nothing on licence sales. As well as this, partners can still offer their consulting, integration, configuration and migration services, in a similar manner to on-premise deployments. But be warned, migration opportunities are unlikely to exist forever – partners should skill up on cloud migration now so they have the capabilities to help early adopters.
Increase your capacity
Microsoft’s Cloud Computing offerings allow customers to get started with the latest technology very quickly and reduces the length of the sales cycle. From a partner perspective, this means you may be able to close more sales per year without increasing headcount. Deployment times will also be reduced, again freeing up your technical resources to complete more deployments per year. We expect cloud partners to complete deals faster and more frequently.
As you can see, there is a lot of opportunity for partners who embrace the cloud – particularly now as customers are looking to move some or all of their technology off-premise. Taking full advantage of these opportunities will take some flexibility and adaption from a partner (and Microsoft) perspective, but there’s definite value to the disruption.
For all types of partners, there are many resources available explaining the value of Microsoft’s cloud services. i would recommend looking at the content on https://www.quickstartonlineservices.com/ (MPN login required) – lots of fantastic guides and documentation.