Moving to the cloud is just more profitable: we know you’ve heard it many times before, but it’s always worth hearing again, especially when so many of our partners are still leaving big opportunity on the table. According to a 2014 study we commissioned with IDC*, successful Microsoft cloud partners experience 1.4 times the revenue growth, and more importantly, make 1.5 times the gross profit. Not only is that profit greater, it’s more sustainable over time, with cloud partners seeing higher gross margins from the recurring revenue streams of managed services and packaged IP and less from product and project services. All of this can lead to significantly higher valuation of cloud-based organizations. Since virtually all signs point to cloud as the best direction for your business, we want to help you get there.
Cloud Solution Provider program
The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is a two-tiered system that helps you build profitability in the cloud by selling Microsoft cloud services alongside your own offerings. As a CSP partner, you own the entire customer lifecycle, giving you real advantages over the competition and helping you increase your profitability:
  1. Empowers your value-added services. Previously, when partners sold under the advisor model, for example, the customer bought the online service through the partner but had an ongoing billing and support relationship directly with Microsoft. Customers had to manage two different vendors, and partners were just part of the process.

    With CSP, the partner owns the relationship with the end customer; you control the billing and provide the support; you perform all those key functions, which allows you to layer on value-adds like managed services and packaged IP into a single, cohesive engagement. The customer pays one vendor, has one contact – this is simpler for the customer, and it foregrounds you, the partner, as the manager of that relationship. It also means you have the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell your high-profit-margin value-added services.

  2. Drives multi-service sales motion. We’ve put all of our online services – Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online – into the CSP program. As a result, CSP partners can increase profitability by selling more solutions and offerings in single, programmatic way, making it easier to increase revenue with customers you already have.

  3. Increases trusted advisor status. As a CSP partner, you’re the single point of contact for your customer for product, services, and support, so your position as trusted advisor to that end customer becomes even greater. This makes cross-selling and upselling easier and reduces the risk of churn. And when your customers already have a trusted advisor who can do so much for them – YOU – they’re far less likely to be receptive to your competition.

  4. Automation drives efficiency at scale. We’ve created a set of APIs and tools that allow CSP partners to directly integrate their billing and ERP systems into ours. This automation creates operational efficiency and reduces your cost.
The CSP program is already helping increase profitability for partners in the cloud. I want you to get as excited about it as I am, look into the two models on MPN, and pick the one that’s the best fit for your business.
Brent Combest

@BrentCombest

*Successful Cloud Partners ebook, IDC 2014
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