Partners! If you’ve held off on selling cloud services until now, then this post is for you. You can take advantage of the SQL Server and Windows Server end of support opportunity by migrating your customers to Azure and enabling their digital transformation. This post spells out how you can realize your firm’s profit potential in the emerging, new digital economy by selling the Microsoft Trusted Cloud.
Believe it or not, among the thousands of Microsoft partners across Canada, only 20% actively sell Azure cloud services to their clients.
That low percentage should surprise you, given the demand. IDC reports that 80 percent of customers are deploying or fully embracing cloud technology today. In fact, demand for cloud services is growing at six times the rate of IT spending. And customers tend to love Azure; more than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use it.
Dare to compare! Find out why the world recognizes Azure over Amazon as the most trusted cloud for enterprise and hybrid infrastructure.
Why they wait
Business relationships aside, IT providers hesitate to expand their service offering for a multitude of reasons. They might lack the human resources, balk at the cost of promoting a new service or bundle, lack product knowledge to feel confident to sell them through, or perhaps just don’t have the time to bring new offers to market.
IDC reports that the public cloud is growing at six times the rate of IT spending and that the market will exceed US $500 billion by 2020.
The cloud opportunity
Whatever the reasons, these partners are missing the cloud boom. The future of cloud services in Canada represents a multibillion-dollar market, and that doesn’t factor in the size or value of cross-selling other IT services… Even with all the competition out there, a large share of the emerging Canadian cloud market has still gone untapped. The end of support of legacy SQL and Windows Server products only increases the market size.
Meanwhile, more business customers request Microsoft cloud services today than ever. That’s primarily because of Azure’s impeccable reputation and bench strength in cloud security and the large number of services it offers. It also helps that customers requiring data to remain in Canada can leverage Microsoft’s two Canadian datacentres in Ontario and Quebec—ensuring their data remains safely secure and private on domestic soil.
Without needing to invest in enterprise-level IT, small to medium-sized companies, including those in emerging markets, now gain access to affordable and secure enterprise-level cloud services.
Aligning your services to the digital transformation movement makes good business sense. As every new business starts in the cloud today, existing companies need to migrate their hosting, data security, and asset management to the cloud to stay competitive. As disruptors embrace a new way to doing business, so must your customers.
Before throwing yourself into promoting Azure cloud services, your digital transformation business model needs a strategy that will help differentiate your offering from your competitors. We’ve identified five areas of consideration, based on our experience working with partners new to cloud services across Canada:
What cloud services should you sell? Identify the cloud services your customers express interest in. In turn, list the peripheral services or next-step cloud services your team should learn to sell once your customers migrate to the cloud.
Who, among your customers and untapped markets, stand poised to buy cloud services from you? Although you may only have a general sense of their interest, you may also take this opportunity gauge the demand by asking them.
How does your offer stand out from others? Your strategy should focus on long-term value. Clearly identify how your business will differentiate itself from competitors.
How does your brand align to your new cloud offer? Most cloud enabled solutions feature four layers of the solution stack: content, process and applications, integration and middleware, and infrastructure and devices.
And lastly, operationally, how do you plan to create and deliver these new cloud services? Identify the competencies required in your team to deliver quality services at the level your existing customers expect from you.
Get started today
Finally, as you go through your strategic planning, you and your team should also take full advantage of the many world-class resources from Microsoft.
- Azure Migration Partner Resources: Access the complete collection of Azure migration resources for partners. From customer pitch decks and sales discussion guides to end of support guides and much more, leverage these resources to migrate your customers from SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 to Azure
- Develop your cloud recommendations: Learn more about the four widely-adopted approaches to cloud migration. The Migrate section of the Azure migration center details the options you can explore with your customer, explains when best to use them, and outlines the topline steps involved in each.
- Join the Azure community: You can always join the conversation at the Azure Migration Partner Community. This space gives professionals like you a forum to share experiences, engage, and learn from cloud specialists and fellow technology experts.