Listed below are the best practice steps followed by partners to get started that went on to develop very successful Azure Businesses.
Establish an Azure Champion: Assign a point person to be the go-to person for Azure within your organization. This person’s responsibility should be to stay up to speed on new Azure announcements, drive awareness and a training plan for both sales & technical resources, and be the go-to person for other team members to pull in for specific customer sales/technical questions.
Set a GOAL 1-2 Punch: This is your investment in your company’s future, so you need to set a goal and invest. A good goal would be to have 1 customer deployed in the next 2 Months on Azure. The great thing is that once you get one customer deployed, the learning will spark lots of ideas for new engagements across your customer base. We typically see partners spinning up multiple new profitable customer engagements shortly after their first sale.
Go through the New Solution Accelerators, especially the Hybrid Cloud:
Use your $100 per month Azure IUR to host Internal Application: Move one of your own internal applications (e.g. QuickBooks, connectwise, etc) to Azure leveraging your $100 IUR. Visit this short Azure IUR video to learn how to access your Azure benefit. The Hybrid Cloud Solution Accelerator above will help get you started. What better way to instill confidence and sell to your customer than showing them how you use Azure.
Have the Champion get Certified: Learn more here, and consider strongly 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
- Note: Members of the Microsoft Partner Network can now purchase digital Microsoft Official Courseware (dMOC) and Microsoft Labs Online (MLO). Using these courses, IT Pros and Developers can set their own pace to study, gain skills, and implement new technologies. Course 20533 gets you ready for Exam 70-533. Learn more here.
Partner Advisory Hours: Once you have your first customer identified, a great resource to leverage is the Partner Advisory Hours who can provide pre-sales technical support. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org who can assist you with engaging the Partner Advisory Hours team. MAPS subscribers get 5 hours.
Technical Presales Assistance – Find the technical information you need to close more deals. Partners who have attained a silver or gold competency receive unlimited presales advisory support for any deal worth US$3,000 or more. For deals worth less than US$3,000, you can access Technical Presales Assistance by phone using your allotted partner advisory hours or through the Partner Support Community.
Examples of services: Competitive assistance, Feature overview and comparison guidance, Request for proposal (RFP) questions, Business value proposition, Proof-of-concept guidance, Technical licensing recommendations
Leverage Cloud SureStep Azure: Cloud SureStep for Azure is your one stop shop for finding Azure resources.
Leverage Disti Resources: You can Engage with a cloud distributor who have excellent resources to help you.
Take advantage of Azure Technical Training:
- Day 1: Establish the Foundation: Core IaaS Infrastructure Technical Fundamentals
- Day 2: Dive Deep into Networking, Storage and Disaster Recovery Scenarios
- Day 3: Embrace Open Source Technologies (Chef and Puppet Configurations, Containerization with Docker and Linux)
- Day 4: Optimize Windows Workload Architecture and Administration Capabilities Within Azure.
- Microsoft Virtual Academy – Azure for IT Pros
- Azure Essentials Web Series: This set of webcasts is available on demand.
Take Advantage of the Azure Taste Test Incentive:
- Azure Taste Test allows you to get $100 back when you attach $100 worth of Azure Open to a corresponding Windows Server license deal*. In addition, you can earn an 8% VAR Incentive … for a total $108 rebate on a $100 Azure Open deal.*
Special thanks to Jeannie Cappo and Chris Large for collecting and summarizing this partner guidance.